Last year at this time, things were crazy and I didn't post anything for Passover! This year, things are equally crazy but I am setting aside time to prepare for Passover and think about the upcoming holiday. Passover starts on Monday night, April 18th. That means there is still time to work on your menus and stock up your house with Passover treats.
As I mentioned in my last post, I was thrilled to partner with The Urban Grape (a fantastic wine shop), Robin from Doves and Figs and Sara from Whole Foods Market in Brighton to put on a Passover Wine and Food Tasting. You can check out a recap of the event on their website. One of my contributions to the event was a write up of recipes to include in a booklet for all attendees to take home. I had fun putting together the recipes and want to share them with you as well. I hope you enjoy!
For Passover celebration, I focus on both honoring tradition and bringing a modern interpretation to the holiday celebration. For me, that means keeping the basic structure and menu that my family had at their Seder, but changing it to reflect where I am now. For example, keeping the same menu, but using ingredients from the local farmers market. That gives a sense of place, and community to the meal.
The recipes below take familiar Passover ingredients and put a new twist on them!
Roasted Beets & Asparagus Appetizer
Roasted beets and asparagus are bright, fresh spring flavors. Bright orange golden beets and the addition of orange infused olive oil ties the dish to the modern practice of including an orange on the Seder plate, to represent Miriam.
2 medium golden beets, unpeeled
6-8 spears of asparagus
1/8 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 inch slice of fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons Orange infused olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Line a baking sheet with foil and cover the foil with a thin layer of kosher salt
Place the unpeeled beets on the salt and put in the oven for 45 minutes
After 45 minutes, place the asparagus spear on top of the salt on the baking sheet
Return beets and asparagus to the oven for 15 additional minutes
After 15 minutes, remove from oven
Place asparagus in a small bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt from the baking sheet
Allow beets to cool for a few minutes and then peel
Slice beets into 1/8 inch thick slices
Arrange beets and asparagus on a serving platter
Evenly distribute toasted pecans and crumbled goat cheese on top
Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar and remaining tablespoon of olive oil
This dish is best served at room temperature
Passover Deviled Eggs with Horseradish and Parsley
This appetizer combines familiar items from the Seder plate in a new way. The bright red color of beet-horseradish contrasts beautifully with the bright green parsley and white hard boiled egg.
12 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons red horseradish
3-4 tablespoons juice from red horseradish (to add color & additional flavor)
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley
Slice eggs lengthwise, remove yolks carefully and place in a mixing bowl
Add mayonnaise, horseradish, and horseradish juice
Mash the yolks and ingredients until smooth
Season with salt and pepper
Using a spoon & spatula fill each egg white (or fill a plastic sandwich bag and cut the corner to pipe the filling into the eggs)
Sprinkle chopped parsley over the top as garnish
I plan to serve these eggs with the contrasting Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs that I made for Thanksgiving. I think the opposite colors will look great!
And don't forget dessert!
Maple-Chocolate Matzo Crunch
This dessert is a standard offering for many families during Passover. Taking advantage of local maple syrup, this is a new take on an old favorite. Maple sugar can be found from local Maple Houses and is increasingly becoming available at grocery stores.
3-4 matzos (you may need more)
1 cup of butter
1 cup maple sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup (Grade A Dark Amber or Grade B)
2 oz. chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk-chocolate)
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
*For the spice lovers, I made a few pieces of green chili maple chocolate matzo. I sprinkled green chili powder on the melted chocolate before sprinkling with nuts. It was delicious and I am thinking about making a full batch of spicy chocolate matzo crunch for next week!
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange matzo pieces in a single layer
In a medium saucepan, combine butter, maple sugar, and maple syrup
Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula
Remove from heat and pour evenly over matzo
Bake maple covered matzo for 4 minutes
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the matzo pieces
Return to oven for 1-2 minutes, until chocolate is melted (the chips will still hold their shape)
Using a spatula, spread the chocolate on the matzo, creating a smooth layer
Sprinkle toasted nuts on top of the chocolate
Allow to cool completely and break into smaller pieces
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator
What's your favorite twist on a traditional Passover food or family recipe? I'm always on the lookout for new ideas!