As the Jews traveled through the desert, the Tabernacle traveled with them. The Tabernacle was always at the center, both when they were traveling and when they camped.

The recipe I created for Bamidbar is based on the theme of the Tabernacle being at the center of the Israelites camp in the wilderness. The dish is vegan pesto bourekas, on a bed of spinach, mushrooms and asparagus. The greens represent the wilderness, surrounding the Tabernacle (bourekas). Though I purchased the spinach/mushrooms/asparagus at the farmers market, these also grow in the wild (though know what you’re picking before eating!).


  • 2 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • ¾ cup roasted cashews
  • 1 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • large bunch of basil leaves
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks asparagus, ends trimmed, chopped
  • ¾ lb. spinach leaves
  • 1 cup assorted mushrooms, chopped
  • red pepper flakes, pinch
  • olive oil
  • salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a blender, or mortar and pestle, add cashews, pine nuts, basil, and garlic. Add about ½-1 tbsp. olive oil and a few drops of water. Blend/mash until thoroughly chopped but not smooth. There can be lumps and pieces of nuts. The mixture should be thick and paste-like, not liquid.
  3. Take a sheet of phyllo dough and lightly brush with olive oil. Place a second piece of dough on top and repeat. Cut the dough lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces. Place a heaping tablespoon of pesto mixture at one end. Fold over and tuck corners in (this will help to keep the ingredients inside). Then, continue to fold over, until you reach the end. It should be a fairly large rectangular shape. Trim off excess dough. Place on baking sheet and brush top with olive oil. Repeat again until you’ve used all of the dough/pesto (should make 2-3 large pieces).
  4. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  5. While bourekas are in the oven, wash and chop greens ingredients.
  6. Over low heat, drizzle ½ tbsp. olive oil into a pan. Add onion and cook for about 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add mushrooms and asparagus and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add spinach and sauté until fully wilted. Add a small pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
  7. On a platter, place bourekas in center and put greens mixture around it.