Thinking Outside the Matzah Box, Recipes for Passover and Beyond

Here are the four recipes from my Passover cooking class last night.  You will note there is no matzah, no eggs, no dairy in any of these recipes.  They are all pareve, Pesachdik, easy, delicious, and make beautiful dishes.  If you are busy planning your seder or just thinking about what to eat this holiday or are just looking for some new dishes for the whole year, these are good for you.  Enjoy.

Spring Root Vegetable Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing

Please note that quantities and ratio are up to your taste and desire.  Use this as a guideline but tailor it to your preferences.

  • 1 large beet
  • ½ large turnip
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 piece of celeriac same size as turnip
  • 1 orange
  • ½ lime
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

 Peel the vegetables.  Cut the beet, turnip, and celeriac into thick slices and carrot in half.  Boil a small pot of salted water and cook the vegetables (one at a time – first celeriac, then turnip, then carrot, then beet) until they are just starting to soften.  You do not want soft or mushy veggies, you want them tender crisp.  Remove from the boiling water and cool in ice water then drain.  Cut the veggies into large matchstick pieces, trying to make the pieces as much the same size as each other as possible.  Put in a bowl.  Remove the orange supremes or segment and slice each piece in half lengthwise then add orange pieces to vegetables.  Add olive oil, the juice from the half lime, a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Taste then adjust seasonings as needed.

 Tilapia with Onions, Olives, and Red Wine Vinegar

 This recipe is for 6-8 people.  You can also use cod or sole for this dish

  •  3 large white onions
  • 6 whole tilapia filets (or 3-4 lbs fish filets)
  • ½ can pitted green olives (Halutza, of course!)
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • very small sprinkle of salt
  • generous sprinkle of ground black pepper

 Halve the tilapia filets down the center line (or cut the other fish into large pieces) and put in an even layer in a baking dish.  Halve the onions then slice thinly, put in a bowl.  Add the drained olives to the onions along with the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Cover the fish with the onion mixture, cover the dish tightly and bake at 350-400 F until onions are cooked, ~20-45 minutes. 

 Beet Green and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

 This is great spread baked on fish or tofu or squash, as a dip for crudités, topping bread or crostini, tossed with pasta, as a salad dressing, as a pizza base, pretty much anything.

  •  1 bunch fresh been greens
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper

 Wash and dry the greens.  Put everything in the food processor and process then scrape the sides and process some more.  Stop when you get the texture you like – be it chunky or smoother.  You can freeze this and use it as wanted. 

Pears Poached in Red Wine with Chocolate Red Wine Syrup

 You can serve this as a dessert, with the chocolate sauce, or as a breakfast or snack without it.  Top with whipped cream, ice cream, cottage cheese, etc.  You can serve one or two halves per person.

  •  4 pears (you can choose what kind you like – Bosc, Anjou, green, red, etc – but they should be firm, not mushy to start with)
  • 2 cups sweet red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

 Halve the pears then using a melon-baller or teaspoon measuring spoon remove the cores.  Put the wine, water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a wide bottomed pot.  Bring the wine to a boil, reduce to a simmer then place the pears in the wine face-down.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes then check for texture.  The pears should be slightly soft to the touch but still firm.  Stop before they are mushy.  If they are still too firm, keep cooking and check every 5 minutes.  Remove the pears from the wine and put aside.  Bring the wine to a boil again and reduce a little until you have syrup.  Drop the chocolate into the wine and whisk well.  Serve with the pears.

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