Passover begins March 30 at sundown and ends April 7. The Food team and its contributors have covered many facets of Passover cooking over the years — read about eggs and seasonal cooking from Susan Barocas; Passover-friendly pies from Paula Shoyer; different ways to use matzoh from Amelia Saltsman, and more (and more, and more).
With so many options, though, we decided to scale it back this year — so here are five recipes from our archives, picked for their less complicated natures and winning personalities.
Classic Matzoh Balls, above. If you’ve never made matzoh balls, here’s a great recipe to start with. The mix of eggs, chicken schmaltz, matzoh meal and seltzer water — seasoned simply with parsley, salt and pepper — comes together in a snap. This mixture is quite loose, but once you chill it (for at least one hour and up to overnight), you’ll have a “dough” that’s easy to shape into matzoh balls, with moistened hands. A tip: If you can’t find matzoh meal, you can pulse sheets of matzoh in a food processor until they’re mostly uniformly ground (but not powdery). Not into schmaltz? Check out our recipe for Vegan Matzoh Balls.
Mazzagna Verde. This vegetarian lasagna is easy to prepare — it’s got layers of cheese and sauteed greens, with matzoh sheets serving as the noodles. Best of all, you can assemble the whole thing up to a day in advance and store it, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature for one hour before baking.
Nash Brisket. Here’s another recipe that can be made ahead — and actually, it’ll taste better if you let it hang out in the refrigerator for a few days before serving. The brisket slowly cooks in a sauce of leeks, brandy, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, beef broth and mustard. (On that last ingredient: Since mustard is made from a seed, it’s not allowed for some Passover Seders; instead we used a store-bought Passover mustard, made with turmeric, potato starch and spices.)
Roasted Fennel and Lemon Salad With Turmeric Walnuts. A little time in the oven mellows the licorice notes in the fennel, rendering them almost sweet. Our favorite part of this recipe is the blanched and roasted lemons — you eat the slightly tart, chewy slices, peel and all. (The turmeric walnuts come in at a close second for favorite salad topping.) Roast the fennel and lemon slices up to five days ahead, then let them come up to room temperature before assembling.
Macaroon Brownies. Store-bought Passover macaroons turn these brownies, made with matzoh cake meal and margarine, into a sweet treat that tastes almost like a Mounds bar. On the brownie cake-to-fudge scale, these tip ever so slightly toward the cake end; feel free to add some chopped bittersweet chocolate to get a little more chew in there.
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