Recipes for All Other Nights
Post-Passover meal inspiration
Post-Passover meal inspiration
When Passover comes, we purge our homes of everything chametz, store away our dishes and silverware, shop for matzah (and cartloads of other groceries), and spend endless hours cooking special foods for more people than usual. Our seder tables are laden with traditional, often-heavy and more-than-abundant foods from the treasured family recipe file.
It’s hard work, but wonderful. It’s good eats too.
Then the holiday is over and we undo everything. We’re tired and sated. It’s time to reorient ourselves to a less exhausting way of cooking and less-filling way of eating.
“After Passover we want food that’s easy, quick, and healthy,” say sisters Vicki Cohen and Ruth Fox, whose May I Have That Recipe blog specializes in vegan and vegetarian recipes. They don’t care for Passover pasta, so one of their go-to post-holiday meals is rigatoni, made with real pasta cooked al dente, and cloaked with Lentil Bolognese. The sauce is a cinch to make because it has very few ingredients and its very simplicity “lets the flavor and heartiness of the lentils shine.” The dish is flavorful as-is, and doesn’t need cheese, Vicki and Ruth say, but “you can add grated Parmesan or sheep’s feta” if you like. Serve it with a fresh salad and dinner is done. Easy.
For Yosef Silver, a marketing strategist (Fusion Inbound Marketing) and blogger (ThisAmericanBite), the best kind of post-Passover dish is something like Braised Chicken with Beets and Kale. “I love the ease of braising a one-pot meal,” he says and “this dish includes my favorite veggies.” In fact, the recipe is loaded with fresh vegetables, tender chicken, and gravy that enriches the chicken but also works well with a side dish of rice or mashed potatoes. Figure this dish for the first Shabbat after the holiday.
Because Passover tends to be a meat-heavy, matzah/carb-loaded time, Naomi Ross veers away from carbohydrates after the holiday and goes leaner and lighter with dishes like Pan-Seared Tilapia with Chile-Lime-Butter. Naomi, who is a food writer, blogger, and cooking instructor, says that “the beauty of this dish is that it is simple, fast, and flavorful.” What makes it even easier is that it has very few ingredients and she makes the compound butter in advance and freezes it, so all “I have to do is sear the fish for a quickie dinner.”
Quickie dinner sounds good to me. In fact, in the week that follows Passover, I don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking, and I yearn for salads. Sometimes I make a whole salad meal of leftovers plus pantry and freezer items. One of our favorites is my recipe for Salmon with White Beans, Blue Cheese, and Dried Cranberries. Throw all the ingredients together in a bowl, add some dressing and seasoning and that’s it. It’s also quite versatile – you can use canned salmon if you like and substitute with feta or mozzarella cheese, dried apricots, and black beans. Add avocado. Leave out the cheese and use leftover chicken instead of the fish. Like that. Easy.
Ronnie Fein is a cookbook author, food writer and cooking teacher in Stamford. She is the author of The Modern Kosher Kitchen and Hip Kosher. Visit her food blog, Kitchen Vignettes, at www.ronniefein.com, friend on Facebook at RonnieVailFein, Twitter at @RonnieVFein, Instagram at @RonnieVFein.