Simplicity is trending and a laundry list of ingredients is so yesterday. My four ingredient Seder menu -not counting cooking staples like salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil (evoo) – is both time saving and palate pleasing all at once.

CREAMY CELERY SOUP

A nontraditional Seder soup – forget rolling matzah balls and instead top this creamy, slightly sweet and earthy broth with crunchy potato matchsticks.

Servings: 6

INGREDIENTS

Celery Soup

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white part only, sliced thinly
  • 6-8 celery ribs, about 1 pound, leaves reserved for garnish, sliced thinly
  • 1 large Russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Garnish: celery leaves, crispy potato matchsticks, drizzled evoo

Potato Matchsticks

  • 1 small russet potato, cut into matchsticks
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt

PREPARATION

For the soup:

1. Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven, lightly coated with evoo, over medium heat.

2. Sweat leeks and celery until very soft, about 20 minutes.

3. Add potato and broth and continue cooking until potato is cooked through.

4. Puree soup until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning.

5. Divide soup between serving bowls. Garnish with celery leaves, matchstick potatoes and drizzle of good evoo.

Potato Matchsticks:

1. Soak matchstick potatoes in cold water for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

2. Drain water and pat dry.

3. Heat a small amount of evoo in a small pan, over medium high heat, to 350F.

4. Cook potatoes, a few at a time, until golden brown and very crispy. Transfer to lined plate.

5. Sprinkle with salt.

6. Crispy matchstick potatoes can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of serving and can be stored, covered at room temperature.

Whole Roast Chicken

It’s technique and not tons of ingredients that will yield crispy skin and juicy chicken.

Serving: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 (3 ½-pound) whole chickens
  • Several fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 lemon cut in quarters
  • 1 whole head garlic, cut in half to expose the cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

1. Rub chickens, all over, with evoo and season with salt and pepper inside cavity and outside. (even kosher chicken needs salt!) divide lemon quarters, garlic and thyme between chickens and place in the cavity of each.

2. Place chickens, breast side up, in a pan that is roomy enough for both birds.

3. Roast for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue roasting until a thermometer, inserted in the thigh, registers 150F, about 40-50 minutes.

4. Loosely tent chickens with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Pour pan drippings into a cup. Allow to sit and then strain off fat.

5. Spoon pan drippings on the chicken before serving.

How-To Carve a Whole Roasted Chicken

Place chicken on a cutting board. With a large knife, slice straight down on either side of the breast bone. This will cut the chicken in half.

Cut each half between the leg and breast. This will give you quarters of chicken.

You can also cut the thigh away from the leg and this will give you six pieces.

Sweet Potato Spiral Casserole

Use an attractive oven-to-table casserole to bake and serve this gorgeous potato side.

Servings: 8+

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium Russet potatoes, about 2 ½ pounds, peeled and sliced very thinly on a mandolin
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, about 2 ½ pounds, peeled and sliced very thinly on a mandolin
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • several sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9X13 casserole with evoo.

1. Pick up a 3-inch stack of potatoes and arrange vertically, in a spiral pattern. Continue with all potatoes, forming an attractive spiral pattern, mixing and alternating sweet potatoes and Russets. Scatter garlic and thyme across potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Pour broth over potatoes. The broth should come up about 2 inches in the pan. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes.

3. Uncover and continue cooking until potatoes are browned on edges and crispy and broth has been absorbed, about 30 minutes more.

Whole Roasted Carrots with Dill Gribiche

Popular in French cuisine, gribiche is an elegant, mayonnaise style sauce, made from hard-boiled egg yolks.

Because the yolks are cooked, the sauce can be used freely on warm vegetables. Classic gribiche can feature pickles, capers and mustard. To both simplify your shopping list and to swap readily available, high-quality kosher for Passover ingredients I’m using horseradish.

INGREDIENTS

Whole Roasted Carrots

  • 1 ½ pounds whole baby carrots (multicolored carrots are festive!), scrubbed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Dill Gribiche

  • 2 hard boiled egg yolks
  • ¾ cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill or 2 teaspoons dried
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

For the carrots:

Preheat oven to 375F. Lina baking sheet with parchment

1. Toss carrots with evoo and salt and pepper. Arrange on prepared sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes or until tender

For dill gribeche:

1. Press egg yolks through a fine sieve into a medium mixing bowl.

2. Add vinegar and horseradish and whisk together.

3. Slowly drizzle in evoo, until mixture is emulsified. The sauce will resemble fluffy mayonnaise.

4. Fold in dill and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

5. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

 

Citrus Avocado Salad

The perfect salad to usher in spring.

Servings: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 firm but ripe avocados, cut into thin half moons
  • 3 oranges, supremes cut
  • 3 blood oranges, supremes cut
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • Best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

1. Arrange avocados, orange and fennel on a platter. Drizzle with evoo and sprinkle with salt and pepper.