I recently read Engin Akin's excellent Essential Turkish Cuisine, and made her Fava Bean Purée with dill and red onions instead of a more conventional hummus or tapenade.
|Fava bean purée with dill and red onions|
|Lemon-scented veal meatballs|
|Burnt Eggplant with tahini, pomegranate seeds on endive leaves|
The fifth appetizer was my only concession to the Eastern European tradition: bites of gefilte fish procured from Citarella and served with homemade, head-exploding horseradish (recipe from America's Test Kitchen's d.i.y. cookbook).
|Gefilte fish bites with homemade horseradish|
|Watercress and spinach soup with carrot and chickpea "croutons"|
One of the highlights of the Seder, for me at least, is haroset, a fruit and nut spread that is symbolic of the mortar used by the Jews in Egypt to make bricks for Pharaoh, eaten as the famous "Hillel Sandwich" with bitter horseradish on matzoh and thereafter just eaten on matzoh because it tastes so good. This year I made two varieties: first, Joan Nathan's Bordeaux Style Haroset from Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cuisine in France, which I have used for several years. Second, Syrian Haroset from an on-line recipe by Jennifer Abadi, a wonderful confection of tart Turkish dried apricots, lemon juice, orange flower water and chopped pistachios.
|Syrian style haroset|
|Blueberry (and raspberry) tart|
|Fresh ginger cake|
For convenience, here is a list of the sources for the dishes that made up the meal.
- Burnt eggplant with tahini and pomegranate seeds: Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty.
- Fava bean purée: Engin Akin, Essential Turkish Cuisine.
- Lemon scented veal meatballs: Mario Batali, Food Network. Caution: the recipe calls for 4 lemons; 2 are more than enough.
- Socca (chickpea flour crepes): Lebovitz, The Sweet Life in Paris and davidlebovitz.com.
- Bordeaux style haroset: Joan Nathan, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France.
- Syrian style haroset: Jennifer Abadi, blog Too Good to Passover.
- Berber couscous with seven vegetables, Claudia Roden, Middle Eastern Food.
- Persian rice: cooking lesson with Jennifer Ababi, Institute for Culinary education.
- Squash with nigella seeds: Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More.
- Fresh ginger cake, David Lebovitz, Ready for Dessert.
- Blueberry tart: Kristen Miglore, Food52 Genius Recipes.