Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Passover 2018 -- Mostly Familiar Favorites

It's not that I'm lazy or unwilling to think about new things, but last year's Passover Seder was so successful that I mostly repeated it for this year.

I stayed with a mostly Sephardic Seder, which I have been doing for some years. I started with a roasted eggplant spread, an artichoke and olive tapenade, my own ricotta, sun-dried tomato and lemon zest spread, lemon scented meatballs and Union Square Cafe's iconic bar nuts.

For the religious portion of the Seder, we had the required symbolic elements for the Seder: bitter herbs (parsley and watercress), roasted lamb shank bone, hard-boiled eggs dipped in salt water, and, my favorites, moror (head-clearing homemade horseradish) and nutty, fruity charoseth (I made French and Syrian style versions as in the past).

Then, for the meal after the retelling the story of the flight of the Jews from Egypt, my sister-in-law's excellent chicken and matzo ball soup, followed by crusty Persian rice with tons of herbs -- parsley, cilantro, dill, and tarragon -- and fava beans, roasted squash with pumpkin and nigella seeds,

Roasted squash with pumpkin and nigella seeds; Persian rice with herbs
Syrian chicken with olives and lemons, and lamb tagine with figs, carrots onions and Moroccan spices, made by Cousin Vicki,

Lamb tagine with figs, onions, carrots and Moroccan spices
Of course, desserts followed: my fresh blueberry and raspberry tart, the crust made with matzo flour,

Blueberry and raspberry tart
and my mother's favorite ginger molasses cake,

Ginger molasses cake
with coconut macaroons to honor an Ashkenazi tradition of our youths.

In case that was not enough, Vicki provided her wonderful chocolate covered matzos and chocolate tahini brownies.

Bobby Jay

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.
  • Artichoke and olive tapenade: David Lebovitz, My Paris Kitchen.
  • 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.
  • Dja'je zetoon b'limoneh (chicken with lemon and olives): Jennifer Abadi, A Fistful of Lentils.
  • Lamb tagine with figs: cooking lesson at Atelier des Chefs in Paris.
  • Persian rice, Cooking lesson by Jennifer Abadi,
  • Roasted butternut squash with pumpkin and nigella seeds: Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More.
  • Fresh ginger molasses cake, David Lebovitz, Ready for Dessert.
  • Blueberry tart: Kristen Miglore, ed., Food52 Genius Recipes.
  • Coconut Macaroons: Kristen Migliore, ed., Food52 Genius Recipes

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