Passover cooking does not need to include just the traditional briskets and potato kugels, although those are delicious too. In my Yom Tov menus I try and include lots of flavorful dishes that would be terrific any time of year. These recipes make my repertoire all year but are a little unexpected on the Passover table and will definitely make your Yom Tov tasty.

Israeli Eggplant

Israeli EggplantServes 8

  • 1 eggplant
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup, silan, or honey
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • Sprinkle of cumin
  • Sprinkle paprika
  • 1 tablespoons chopped parsley

Roast medium sized eggplants on open flame or grill, until blackened all around. Let cool and peel to remove skin but leave top on the eggplant for decorative reasons.

Lay on serving dish, season with salt and lemon juice. Drizzle with pomegranate syrup (you can also reduce pomegranate juice with sugar for the same effect), silan or honey. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, cumin, paprika, and chopped parsley.

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable SoupServes 6

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 3 large yellow peppers, seeded and halved
  • 3 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 small eggplant, halved lengthwise
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 onions, cut into eighths
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil, shredded or whole

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Brush two large shallow baking dishes with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Laying them cut-side down, arrange tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant in one layer. Sprinkle garlic and onions pieces all around. Drizzle with remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme and oregano.

Place in oven and bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, or until soft and browned. Cool, then scrape out the eggplant flesh and remove skin from bell peppers and tomatoes.

In a bowl with an immersion blender, puree eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and onion until chunky like a salsa, not a puree.

In a soup pot, combine, chunky vegetables with broth and simmer 20-30 minutes. Stir in the non-dairy milk and simmer until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm with shredded basil on top.

Cobb Salad with Roasted Vidalia Onion Dressing

Cobb Salad with Roasted Vidalia Onion DressingServes 6

This makes extra dressing.

Dressing

  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 2 large Vidalia onions (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and quartered through the core
  • 1 1/4 cups neutral oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Salad

  • 10 lightly packed cups mixed lettuces (8 ounces)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cooked IMITATION bacon or sliced pastrami
  • 1 Hass avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced lengthwise

For the dressing: Preheat the oven to 425°. Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the onions with oil and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, until the onions and garlic are lightly charred and soft. Let cool.

Peel the garlic and transfer the cloves to a blender. Add the onions, cider vinegar and lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, gradually add the 1 1/4 cups oil until incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper

For the salad: In a large bowl, toss the lettuces with 1/2 cup of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top and drizzle the dressing over the salad or pass the remaining dressing at the table.

Moroccan Chicken Patties

 Moroccan Chicken PattiesServes 6

  • Passover Tzatziki
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cucumber
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper optional
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • Cooking spray

Preheat broiler to high.

For the tzatziki: In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest, dill, cucumber, salt and pepper.

Combine 1/4 cup tzatziki, matzo meal, onion, 3 tablespoons mint, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken; mix with hands. Shape chicken mixture into 8 patties. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.

While chicken cooks, arrange zucchini, cut side up, on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Brush with remaining 2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle with the remaining remaining salt and black pepper. Broil 5 minutes or just until tender.

To serve: Serve chicken and tzatziki and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons mint.

Chocolate Nut Butter Brownies

Chocolate Nut Butter Brownies

Recipe yields 9 large brownies or 16 small brownies

Brownies:

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup dark chocolate squares or chips, melted
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ heaping cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 cup mini-Passover marshmallows

Nut Butter Frosting (optional):

  • ¼ cup margarine
  • ½ cup cashew or almond butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon nondairy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9" square tin with baking paper.

For the brownies: In an electric mixer, cream together the margarine and brown sugar for about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the melted chocolate and mix until fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together potato starch, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on medium-high speed until combined into a thick batter. Add walnuts and marshmallows and incorporate through the mixture. Pour the batter into the pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly.

Frosting: Mix the margarine and nut butter together until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar and starting on slow speed, whip together until the sugar is completely mixed in. Add nondairy cream/milk and vanilla extract and continue to whip together on high speed until you have a soft and smooth consistency. Spread this mixture on top of the brownie batter or swirl within the batter using a spatula.

Bake brownies on center rack for 30-35 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool on a rack.

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