I love to cook for my family and friends and look forward to every opportunity to be creative and innovative with my meals, but as a busy mom with three little girls, I just don’t have lots of time to spend in the kitchen. I have a passion for taking simple ingredients that I have on hand in the fridge and the pantry and turning them into dishes that look and taste spectacular. My upcoming cookbook, The Silver Platter, due for release on May 6th, is written in collaboration with legendary cookbook author Norene Gilletz. It’s full of family-friendly recipes that turn simple ingredients into spectacular meals.

When it comes to Passover cooking, everyone has many recipes for meat and chicken, but making exciting side dishes can be more of a challenge. I enjoy that challenge, coming up with creative side-dish recipes that utilize different colors and textures. Here are three delicious side dishes that use simple, kosher-for-Passover ingredients, and that will ensure all your holiday meals completely spectacular. Enjoy them, and Chag Sameach!

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower & Onions

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower & Onionspareve | passover | gluten-free | do not freeze | yields 6 servings

Light, delicate, and golden brown, roasted cauliflower adds simple elegance to any menu. I often double the recipe to make sure we have enough. If you overcook the cauliflower florets, their delicate texture will turn to mush, so watch the clock!

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • thyme leaves, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower with onions and thyme. Stir in oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; toss to combine.
  3. Spread mixture in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until cauliflower is golden brown and tender.
  5. Transfer to a large platter; garnish with thyme leaves. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Norene’s Notes

You can use frozen cubes of garlic, thyme, dill, parsley, and ginger. They thaw in minutes.

Mince a batch of fresh herbs in a food processor or mini prep. Drop in blobs onto parchment paper and freeze; then transfer to resealable freezer bags. They’re ready when you are! P.S. Be sure to mark the package so you know what’s inside.

No fresh or frozen herbs? Substitute approximately 1 teaspoon dried herbs for each tablespoon of fresh herbs.

To peel garlic easily, place a head of garlic on a cutting board and cover with a dishtowel. Firmly hit the towel-covered garlic with the bottom of a heavy skillet. Remove the towel, separate the cloves, and pick out the papery skins. Repeat several times if necessary, discarding any remaining skins.

Garlicky Potato Mounds

Garlicky Potato Moundspareve | passover | gluten-free | freezes well | yields 10-12 mounds

With their crispy golden crust and a creamy whipped center flecked with fresh scallions, these Garlicky Potato Mounds are an elevated take on classic comfort food. Serve two mounds per plate for an elegant presentation.

  • 4-5 medium potatoes,(Idaho or Yukon Gold), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup (approximately) vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. In a large saucepan, combine potatoes and garlic. Add enough lightly salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat; drain well.
  2. Return potatoes and garlic to saucepan and place back on the heat for 1-2 minutes to evaporate any excess moisture. Remove from heat.
  3. Mash potatoes and garlic until smooth. Gradually blend in broth, oil, salt, and pepper. Whip until light and creamy. Stir in scallions.
  4. Line a rimmed baking with parchment paper.
  5. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop rounded mounds of potato mixture onto prepared baking sheet. (Can be made in advance up to this point.)
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, until crusty.

Norene’s Notes

Dry, mealy potatoes have high starch content and are perfect for baked or mashed potatoes. Waxy potatoes have lower starch content and are best for boiling, scalloped potatoes, or potato salad.

If you don’t know which type of potato you have, put it in a brine of 2 Tbsp salt dissolved in 1½ cups cold water. Mealy potatoes will sink; waxy ones will float.

If your potatoes are tinged with green, cut off and discard any green parts. The green layer under the skin is called solanin and is poisonous.

Sweet Potato Scallop

Sweet Potato Scalloppareve | passover | gluten-free | do not freeze | yields 8 servings

This simple, unassuming scallop is both sweet and savory. Using sweet potatoes instead of white makes it a healthier option. As a final bonus, the elegant upright presentation gives the dish some textural interest that’s worthy of any holiday feast.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes, thinly sliced (do not peel)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large oven-to-table baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oil, honey, cinnamon, and rosemary. Add sweet potatoes; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Stir to coat on all sides.
  3. Arrange sweet potato slices in prepared baking dish by standing them upright in tight rows. You should have parallel lines of sweet potato slices (skin showing) along the length of the dish. Drizzle with any remaining oil mixture.
  4. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
  5. Bake, uncovered, an additional 20-30 minutes, until golden and glazed.

Norene’s Notes

Variation: Sprinkle sweet potato slices generously with salt and pepper. Add 3 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp honey, and ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or dill. Stir well. Arrange sweet potato slices in baking dish as directed in step 3. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-30 minutes longer.

Quick Tip: The sweet potatoes can be sliced with a food processor, using medium pressure.

Recipes by Daniella Silver, reproduced with permission from the copyright holders, ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications. Click here to order your copy of The Silver Platter.