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 overmix 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.
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.
I’ve also been closely tracking this pre-Passover plague — because I was an eyewitness to Israel’s last locust swarm.
One weekend in late 2004, I was snorkeling in the Red Sea just a short walk from the Egyptian border crossing, marveling at a small octopus, when I emerged from the water to see an enormous cloud of locusts crossing the border and charging due north.
“Thailandim eat those things,” she said, referring to the large number of Thai workers working agricultural jobs in Israel. “Yuck!”
Yum, say Israeli foodies, who are turning the pests into a délicatesse. Chef Moshe Basson of the Euclalyptus restaurant in Jerusalem, who specializes in foods of the Bible, prefers his locusts fried and smothered in risotto seasoned with coriander and chili. “First throw your live locusts into boiling vegetable stock. They will squeal like lobsters as the air shoots out of their shells,” goes his recipe, posted by The Guardian.
The head of a southern Israeli municipal council, Shmulik Reifman, has offered his own recipe for locust shish kebobs drenched in coconut milk, a dish he invented while touring the recent locust storm.
Rabbis are mixed on the question of the insects’ kosher status, but Reifman gives it a thumbs-up. “Jews in Morocco and Libya used to eat locust a lot, and it’s rich in protein,” he told the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, which printed this recipe. “You can prepare it in two ways: frying, or with vegetables and coconut milk. It’s a winning recipe, and you don’t mess with a winning recipe.”
1 kilogram locusts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 green onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 can coconut mil
1. Wash the locusts and skewer them on wooden skewers.
2. Roast them on the grill for 3 minutes each side. Alternatively, fry them in a lightly-greased skillet, and only then skewer them.
3. Heat the olive oil in a small pot. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
4. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Remove from stove.
5. Arrange the shish kebobs on a plate, dribble the sauce over them and garnish with a little diced onion. Serve with white rice.
Growing up, Passover meant sweet and sour brisket. Slowly braised in the oven for hours until Bubbe declared it was tender enough to eat. Sounds simple enough, but that poor brisket was in and out of the oven and examined and re-examined until it was dry. So we tried chicken one year. Surely that would fare better. But the story was the same- Bubbe, my Mom and Aunts gathered around the oven trying to determine if the chicken was done. Opening and closing the door, all whilst poking and prodding the poor bird. “Is it done?” “It looks done.” “No I see pink!” They were petrified of giving the whole family salmonella. Sigh.
Passover recipes are actually some of my favorite to develop- the limit in ingredients forces me to get creative and put together recipes that I never would otherwise. I decided to make a roasted chicken as homage to that Pesach- it would work for a seder, or you could nosh on it for meals during the chametz free week. Honey and mustard is one of my favorite combos, but of course mustard is out. How about horseradish instead as a nod to the seder meal? The horseradish gives the chicken a subtle spiciness much like a Dijon would, and is balanced with the sweet honey- delicious!
1, 5-pound whole chicken, rinsed well and with innards removed
5 bulbs garlic
½ white onion
5 fresh rosemary springs
¼ cup kosher for Passover prepared horseradish
¼ cup kosher for Passover honey
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Then put the chicken breast side up on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
Stuff chicken with the lemon garlic, onion and rosemary sprigs.
In a small bowl, whisk together horseradish, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread all over the chicken, making sure to get under the skin as well.
Truss the chicken, or tuck the wings under the body and tie together the legs.
Roast chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes, and then turn the oven up to 450 degrees F to brown the skin. Continue cooking about 20 more minutes until the internal temperature near the thighbone is 160 degrees F and the juices run clear (it should continue to cook once removed from the oven until the temperature is 165 degrees F).
Let chicken rest for 20 minutes covered with aluminum foil before carving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
The reason I love this simple recipe is: you can prep it beforehand, it stays great, it’s cheap, and it’s very yummy! The vinaigrette is simple but very flavorful, as I have found many Moroccan Jewish recipes to be.
The recipe serves 4-6, but I like to double it and eat the leftover salad throughout chol hamoed.
For the salad:
1 thinly sliced cucumber
2 cold boiled potatoes, sliced
3 bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced: i use one green, one red, one orange for color :)
2 2/3 cups pitted olives (any variety you like)
3 scallions, sliced thin
For the vinaigrette:
3-5 chopped garlic cloves
6 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, or 1 Tbsp or so lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
salt to taste
Lay all of the veggies and potatoes out on a nice platter (think oval-shaped platter). Scatter the olives all around and the scallions on top.
In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients for the vinaigrette.
Pour vinaigrette over the veggies, olives, and scallions.
Maror is an important part of the pre-meal seder, but there’s no reason you can’t make it a part of your Pesach feast. Some people like a little dot of maror to go with their gefilte fish, but I’m a gefilte fish hater, so I wanted to think of some other way to integrate some strong chrein into my meal. Enter: horseradish salmon. This recipe is incredibly quick and easy, and leads to an amazingly moist and sweet dish, with just a jab of chrein getting you on the finish. Do not be dissuaded by the amount of horseradish called for–it mostly cooks away leaving an amazing spicy aroma layered on a honeyed, flaky piece of fish.
2 lbs salmon1/4 cup horseradish
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl combine horseradish (use the white kind unless you want magenta salmon), honey, lemon juice, and salt. It should form a somewhat thick mixture, and it will smell incredibly strongly of the horseradish, but don't worry―most of the kick of the horseradish will cook off in the oven. Place salmon in a greased casserole dish or on a baking sheet. Pour the horseradish mixture over the fish, making sure that it gets all around the fish, and spooning some back on top of the fillet. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Chef Yair Feinberg was born and raised on an Israeli kibbutz and later travelled to Europe to study Culinary Innovation and Management at the Institute Paul Bocuse in France and work in Michelin star decorated restaurants in Paris, Tuscany and Provence. Upon returning to Israel, Feinberg opened Studio Fein Cook, which offers gourmet catering services and cooking and baking workshops for all levels, as well as import services for products such as Thermomix.
Special thanks to Inbal Baum of Delicious Israel for this recipe and translation.
2 pounds short ribs
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tablespoon pomegranate juice
2 Tablespoons brandy
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, grated
Preheat the oven 300F.
Place the meat in a roasting pan. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and drizzle over the meat.
Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil.
Roast meat about 3 hours in a preheated oven until meat is tender and soft.
Chef David Kolotkin is executive chef of The Prime Grill in New York City. His mother’s delicious home cooked meals and the bonding moments with his father in the kitchen are among his fondest childhood memories. Those years gave him the balance and deep respect for food. Chef David attended The Culinary Institute of America, graduating with the “Most Likely to Succeed” award. He began working for notable restaurants including 21 Club, Butterfield 81, Patroon, and Windows of the World.
2 12oz bone in veal chops (ask your butcher for center cuts, or from the loin end)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup finely ground almonds
For the brine:
2 quarts water
½ cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh thyme
30 black peppercorns
1 star anise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the brine ingredients in a large pot and bring to simmer on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Cool the brine by placing in an ice bath.
When the brine is cool, submerge the veal chops in the brine and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Remove the veal chops, pat dry with paper towel. On only 1 side (presentation side), brush with the egg wash, then dredge in the ground almonds. Over medium heat, brown the veal in a large skillet with enough oil to coat the pan, almond side first. When lightly brown, turn over and brown the other side.
Place in a 350 degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes for medium or to your taste.