A few weeks ago, as I was in the midst of testing out new Passover recipes, my dear friend Mat pleaded: “Please come up with ideas to bring for lunch!” I love a Passover challenge. It feels like my very own game of Iron Chef: Passover Edition.
Passover lunches. A real quandry. I mean, how much matzah + cream cheese should one person be expected to eat!? I say NONE! My eggplant tomato & mozzarella stacks are like a deconstructed eggplant parm that are healthy, delicious and best part? No matzah required!
Tuna Nicoise Salad is an ideal lunch choice either for at home, or bring to work. And what better way to use up those extra boiled potatoes and hard boiled eggs from the Seder!? Note: use whatever Kosher for Passover salad dressing you prefer.
Some other Passover-friendly lunch options:
Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Stacks (recipe below)
At home or have access to a kosher-for-Passover microwave?
1 medium eggplant
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large tomato
4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil (optional)
Cut a brown paper bag and lay out on the counter or table. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and lay out on top of paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and allow eggplant to sit for 1 hour. Flip eggplant slices and let sit for another hour.
Blot eggplant with towel to remove excess water.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with oil.
Lay eggplant slices in one layer and roast for 12-15 minutes, or until just brown.
Stack eggplant, tomato, mozzarella and repeat. Drizzle small amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil on each stack. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with fresh basil if desired.
We grew up eating traditional, Ashkenazi apples, walnuts and sweet wine haroset. Among all the terrifying dishes my grandmother prepared each year, this was the safest and so it was one of the few things I would eat, besides matzah ball soup.
As I got older, and especially after I visited Israel for the first time, I realized what a wide world of Jewish food traditions exist that don’t include dry noodle kugel or gefilte fish out of a jar. Which is also true for the much-beloved Passover haroset.
Fast forward to the uber-foodie Shannon, and I’ve actually created my own recipe for haroset, which features candied walnuts, apples, pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds. It has hints of the classic from my childhood, with the added freshness of pomegranate and the slightly salty-sweet characteristic of the candied walnuts. A new twist.
But here at The Nosher we have literally about 7 different haroset recipes from around the world. So if you are looking to make a second haroset for your family, or just want to try a new tradition on for size, check out one of these recipes to spice up your menu.
Haroset from Egypt, with dates and yellow raisins
Haroset from Italy, with pine nuts, ground almonds, prunes and yellow raisins
Haroset from Morocco, with dates, cinnamon and ground cloves
Haroset from Piedmont, with chestnuts, almonds and orange juice
Sephardi-style Haroset from Israel, with dates, figs, cinnamon and cardamom
Haroset from Turkey, with apples, dates, walnuts and raisins
For the second year, we are happy to share not only some great new recipes from our contributors but also two full Seder menus to inspire your own celebrations this year.
What do we serve up in my house? Well, we always host second night Seder for my family, which is much smaller than my husband;s, and some of our wonderful friends. It’s loud, it’s delicious, and it’s anything but traditional. We do serve some of the classic favorites, like gefilte fish, matzah ball soup and chocolate dipped macaroons. But we also serve up my un-traditional Tuscan style liver spread and we have even been known to serve Osso Bucco over quinoa as a main dish.
Some people love traditional dishes, but we have also received a lot of requests for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipes. You asked, so we delivered and we hope you enjoy the vegetarian menu we have put together below!
Whether you go traditional, or unconventional, from our kitchen to yours we are wishing you a delicious and meaningful Passover celebration.
Traditional Seder Menu
Chicken soup is not one of those recipes I learned from my mom, dad or even grandmother. Rather, it’s a recipe I have tried multiple ways, researched and tweaked until I have been 100% happy with the results. Even my husband agrees it’s great, and he is usually my toughest audience.
We serve chicken soup all year round: when one of us is sick, for special Shabbat meals, or sometimes when we just want a simple dinner in a bowl. But, it is Passover time, so of course we are readying ourselves to make a large vat of soup and matzah balls for our Seder.
Everyone asks me: How do you get such fluffy matzah balls?
Well, first, I have a set of tips for the fluffiest balls. But my other secret comes in a little white and blue box: I use the Manischewitz matzah ball mix! I follow the directions, don’t mix too much and add 1-2 tsp of chicken fat, or schmaltz. Tried and true, and never fails me. And I am not even embarrassed to admit this fact.
If you’re looking for the perfect chicken soup recipe,look no farther. This always comes out flavorful, slightly sweet and deeply satisfying.
6 quarts of water
1 whole chicken + extra package of wings
2 large carrots, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1/2 Tbsp whole peppercorns
few sprigs of thyme
salt to taste
Place chicken and vegetables in a 16 or 20 quart pot and cover with 6 quarts of water.
Make a bouquet garni with the fresh dill, parsley, peppercorns and thyme. Add bouquet garni to pot.
Bring pot to boil and let simmer for 1 hour.
Remove chicken from pot, and remove breast and dark meat from bone. Put bones and other parts back into pot and let simmer another 1-2 hours on low-medium, covered.
Allow soup to cool, and place in fridge. Skim the fat off the top (I suggest saving the fat to put it in your matzah balls, or chopped liver)
Reheat to serve. Add chicken, matzah balls and desired vegetables.
These toffee squares are a part of my family’s yearly Passover repertoire. After eating them at a close friend’s seder for years, my mom finally asked for the recipe so we could enjoy them year-long. It turns out that the recipe originated in the kitchen of a woman who had deep roots in Akron (my hometown) and who loved to share her recipes with others.
They make a great addition to a dessert buffet, but my family makes them to keep on hand as a snack. Beware—they go quickly! We usually end up making more than one pan to last us the entire holiday.
1 cup butter or magarine, softened
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup matzo cake meal
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, sugar and pinch of salt until light and fluffy. Beat in egg very well. Add matzo cake meal gradually, blending well. Dough should be stiff.
Lightly grease a 10x15 jelly roll pan. Evenly spread the dough in the pan, making sure to reach the sides and corners. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Spread with melted chocolate, the sprinkle with the chopped nuts, making sure to press the nuts gently into the chocolate so they stick. Allow to mostly cool, and then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.
This is a simple and delicious side dish anytime, that is perfect for the transition from heartier winter root vegetable dishes to light, garden-fresh spring dishes. It also adds wonderful color and meaning to the seder table, too, as an theme-extension of the whole beet that is halachically permissible as a replacement to the zeroa (shankbone) on vegetarian seder plates.
6-8 medium-sized beets, stems and leaves attached (red, purple, gold or a mixture)
2 oranges + zest
1 small onion
1 medium avocado, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
sprig of fresh dill, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Trim beets at stems, but leave unpeeled. Set beet green aside.
Wash beets thoroughly. Lightly coat beets in olive oil. Wrap whole beets individually in foil and place foil-covered beets on a baking sheet. Place into oven. Roast beets about an hour to an hour and a half or until beets are tender throughout when pierced with a knife.
Once beets are in the oven, pull beet greens from stems and coarsely chop. Submerge chopped greens in boiling water about 2 minutes, just enough to brighten and make tender. Drain greens, and pat them in-between paper towel or a clean, dry cloth to remove excess water. Place greens in a large bowl. Set aside.
Chop onion into long, thin slivers. Place into bowl with beet greens. Set aside.
Zest about ¼ of one of the oranges. Set zest aside. Working over a small bowl, segment oranges, reserving juice in the bowl below. Add orange segments to large bowl of beet greens and onion. Set aside.
In small bowl with reserved orange juice, add minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dill, orange zest and salt and pepper to taste.
When beets are tender and have cooled at least enough to handle comfortably, unwrap foil from beets completely. Rub each beat gently with a paper towel to remove skins (they will come off very easily). Chop peeled beets into thin wedges. Place chopped beets into large bowl with greens, onion and orange segments. Pour olive oil and vinegar mixture into bowl with other ingredients and toss lightly. Toss in cubed avocado. Serve immediately or refrigerate if prepared in advance.
This dish can be finished with coarsely chopped roasted/salted hazelnuts if desired.
I’m gluten-free so quinoa is part of my everyday life, but I think most gluten eaters appreciate quinoa the most on Passover, when more mainstream grains like wheat, barley, and rice are off-limits. This quinoa salad is very versatile in that you can use pretty much whatever vegetables you like depending what is in season. Here I do a roasted veggie medley of sweet potatoes, onions, zucchini, and bell peppers, but asparagus, tomato and scallion would be just as delicious.
1 sweet potato, diced
1 red onion, chopped
2 zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease two baking sheets. Spread sweet potatoes and onions on one baking sheet and zucchini and bell peppers on another. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil over each baking sheet. Roast zucchini and peppers for 10 minutes, sweet potatoes and onions for 25 minutes. Remove to a large bowl.
In the meantime, place quinoa, water, and 1/4 tsp salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and rest for 10 minute before fluffing with a fork.
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Add quinoa to vegetables and drizzle dressing over top, mixing to combine.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Chef Barry Koslow is Chef at DGS Delicatessen in Washington, DC.
2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 2--‐inch cubes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup red wine
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup dried apricots
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 Tbsp harissa
½ cup cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Season the lamb with salt and pepper liberally.
In a dutch oven or large oven-safe pot, heat the oil until it is smoking and sear the lamb over high heat. Remove lamb when evenly browned, add onion and garlic to the pan and lower heat.
Cook 5 minutes. Add red wine and reduce liquid by half. Add spices, apricots, stock, harissa, lamb, and sweet potatoes to pot. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for one and half hours at 275 degrees.
Add cilantro and serve.
The aisles are already full of matzah. Kosher for Passover noodles are all the rage, but still, I find myself walking right by them in search of something different.
I come home home and look around, think about planning my seder menu. And think about what i can do differently this year.
And then it happens…almost instantaneously. A soup for the perfect brunch, the perfect dinner or just a perfect starter to your Seder. And even if you’re not kosher for Passover, well, it’s still the perfect soup to warm you up, make you feel good, and fill up your belly.
Hi–I’m Meredith and I write the blog, the food yenta. I’m a mom to two wonderful children who recently rediscovered my love and passion for food. I rant about great recipes, cooking shows, and my love of gardening and farmers markets. I like taking complicated recipes and simplifying them for my modern family.
1 pound of carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups veg stock
2 cups water
1 cup half and half or non-dairy creamer
salt and pepper to taste.
1 jalapeño pepper
Roast jalapeno pepper by placing pepper under broiler or over a gas burner to till blackened.
Chop onions, carrots and garlic. Sauté in canola oil for 10 minutes or until onion is translucent and carrot starts to soften.
Add stock and water, bring to a boil and cook for 40 minutes or until carrots are soft and easy to mash.
With an immersion blender, blend soup till you have reached your desired consistency. Add half and half or non-dairy creamer, mix and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Garnish soup with roasted jalapenos.