Thus, the great bulk of the seder consisted of Sephardic/Mediterranean dishes from a large array of countries: Syria, Morocco, France, Italy, Iran, Israel and Greece, As usual, the main exception was my sister-in-law's stupendous matzoh ball soup, returning to the table after an enforced absence due to illness in 2016.
We started with my go-to Burnt Eggplant with Tahini, from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty, always a crowd pleaser. This year I added the optional bits of fresh cucumber, which added texture but also mellowed out the bitterness of the tahini.
|Burnt eggplant with tahini, pomegranate seeds and endive leaves|
|Gefilte fish bites with homemade horseradish|
For the dinner, I made he best-looking hard-boiled eggs I have ever made, served over a dollop of spinach cooked for hours with red onions. Inspired by a recipe originally from Corfu in Greece that is in Joan Nathan's new book King Solomon's Table, which I haven't read (although a different one of her books is a source of the Bordeaux Style Haroset described below).
|Hard-boiled eggs on spinach|
|Heidi's great matzoh ball so|
|wise from front: Persian rice, caramelized fennel, lamb tagine, Syrian chicken|
|Persian rice with crunchy tahdig, with fava bean and dill salad|
|Bordeaux Style haroset|
|Syrian haroseet with pistachios|
Blueberry and raspberry tart
Finally, for my ginger-loving mother, Fresh Ginger Cake from David Lebovitz' Ready for Dessert, adopted for Passover by using matzoh flour, served with crème fra îche. Another repeat from 2016.
|Ginger molasses cake |
Well, not quite finally. At the last moment, I decided to make coconut macaroons, and used the interesting recipe found in Food52 Genius Recipes, which uses coconut chips in lieu of shredded coconut, resulting in an interesting craggy appearance and texture.
|Macaroons, some with chocolate, and closeup|
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.
- Tapenade: Jacques Pépin, Essential Pépin.
- Lemon scented veal meatballs: Mario Batali, Food Network. Caution: the recipe calls for 4 lemons; 2 are more than enough.
- Bar Nuts: Michael Romano, The Union Square Cafe Cookbook.
- 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.