I am more of a culinary Jew than a religious one. I can not fathom Passover without the accompanying food ritual that I learned from my grandmother, a seder always consisting of chopped liver, eggs in salt water, homemade gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, brisket, matzo kugel, followed by various matzo meal and sugary desserts. It was a cholesterol, diabetes and digestion nightmare. This year I am paring it down to store bought gefilte fish, low sodium matzo ball soup with store bought low sodium chicken soup broth,, and two quick and easy vegetable dishes that I cooked in the oven right along with the brisket, Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Root Vegetables and Spring Vegetables with Lemon & Oregano. To finish off the meal, try this easy recipe I call my Passover Relief Formula accompanied by fresh strawberries. All in all a lighter, more healthful Passover... as if eating that much food in one sitting can ever be considered healthful.
Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Root Vegetables
equal parts sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots and parsnips.
fresh rosemary sprigs
chopped garlic, or garlic paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel, wash and cut root vegetables into one inch cubed or bite sized pieces. Coat vegetables with olive oil and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Place some rosemary sprigs among the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake in 350º oven for one hour. Remove rosemary before serving.
Spring Vegetables with Lemon and Oregano
equal parts zucchini, fennel and onions
juice of one lemon
fresh sprigs of oregano
Cut vegetables into thinly sliced three inch strips of approximately the same size. Coat vegetables with olive oil and lemon juice. Add lemon zest and toss. Place some oregano sprigs among the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake in 350º oven for 30 minutes. Remove rosemary before serving.
Both of these recipes can be cooked at higher temperature for a shorter time, but usually, I put in my brisket to reheat and I like to do that at 350º. The spring vegetables can also be prepared in a saute pan on a cooktop if you need more room in your oven.
Nana's Passover Relief Formula
equal parts dried pitted prunes, dried pitted apricots and dried apples (or other dried fruit)
enough water to cover fruit, plus 2 cups
one lemon, cut in quarters with seeds removed
one half dozen cardamom seeds (optional)
Place dried fruit and lemon in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover fruit plus one cup. Bring to a boil then let simmer for thirty to forty minutes. Check to make sure it is not sticking. Add more water as necessary. Add cardamom seeds. Let cool covered. After it has cooled completely, remove lemon pieces and any seeds or pits you may have missed. Can be served chilled or room temperature. Sometimes I serve it with sliced strawberries to accent the contrast between the very sweet stewed fruit and the slightly sour taste of the strawberries
Chag Sameach, ya'll!
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