Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Passover Recipes

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
olive oil
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
lemon zest
fresh sprigs of oregano
olive oil

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!

To tell me about your seder or send me your recipes, click on the comments icon below.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the vegetable recipes! I'm going to try them both. As a vegetarian, who doesn't make wheat the center of most of my meals, I don't know why everyone makes such a big fuss about not being able to eat bread at the seder.

Susan Lampert Smith said...

"I've been drooling over your meal plans.... I also had to let you know that this good little Methodist makes a mean matzo brei and a meaner matzo ball soup!! Much of my love of matzo dates back to when Susan Jaffe and I were Suffolk scouts together on an overnight trip. She was the only scout who brought middle-of-the-night snacks: matzo!!! We were all so hungry that our eating matzo was comparable to eating steak or lobster!! The Jaffe family also introduced my family to those delicious scrambled eggs with moistened matzo, and after we moved to Norfolk, my mostly-Jewish cul-de-sac at the end of River Road helped tweak my taste for everything from potato pancakes to chicken soup to noodle pudding. When my daughter was in kindergarten, the children were going through the alphabet and providing words for each letter. When it came to "M," Ellen's word was matzo. Go figure!"

By the way, after Ellen's "M" word, her teacher sent me a note: "I didn't know you were Jewish. Thank you for sharing your heritage." I promptly sent her a beautifully wrapped box of matzo-ball soup mix! We've since shared our Christian heritage as well!!

Amy Ostrower said...

This confirms my theory that the best path to peace and harmony among people of differing religions and cultures is by sharing food.

Michael Weisel said...

You inspired me with your potatoes. I made roasted garlic, rosemary, cilantro, and dill potatoes.