We often talk about whether a Jewish holiday is “early” or “late.” We expect Rosh Hashanah to begin in mid-September, Hanukkah in mid- to late December and Passover smack in the middle of April, when, in reality, Jewish holidays follow their own calendar.
Last year, Passover fell in March (“early”), and it snowed on the first night—so much for Passover being the spring holiday. This year, Hanukkah came “early” (remember Thanksgivukkah?), but Passover, which begins on April 14, seems right “on time.” But even so, Mother Nature seems a bit confused, with freezing temperatures carrying us all the way through the end of March.
Our top 10 Passover recipes this year celebrate duality, including the murky transition from this cold, harsh winter to spring. Many of the recipes feature leeks—traditional at Sephardic Seders—and/or potatoes, which some Ashkenazi Jews serve at their Seder as karpas (the vegetable for the Seder, usually parsley or celery) because green vegetables were not available in Eastern Europe around Passover, no matter whether it came “early” or “late.”
Beets, like potatoes and leeks, weather the changing of the seasons well, yet a beet salad with both red and yellow roots, as well as one with quinoa, brings some lightness and color into Passover dishes when asparagus and spring greens have not yet made their appearance at local markets. And for dessert, what could be lighter than a not-too-sweet almond cake, cruelty-free vegan chocolate truffles, chai ice cream and, of course, meringues?
This year’s recipes blend winter and spring, coziness and renewal—and, most importantly, relative effortlessness and guaranteed deliciousness. Happy Passover, and happy eating!
Local Foodies’ Top 10 Passover Recipes
|Creamy Potato Leek Soup
Author, family food expert and blogger, The Six O-Clock Scramble
Food columnist, Haaretz.com, and caterer, Cardamom & Mint
Filmmaker and former director, Jewish Food Experience
|Salad of Roasted Heirloom Beets with Capers and Pistachios
Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray
Co-owners, Equinox Restaurant, and co-authors, The New Jewish Table
|Festive Almond Cherry Quinoa
Creator and owner, Tribes-A-Dozen
|Albondigas de Pirasa
Beyhan Çagri Trock
Author, The Ottoman Turk and the Pretty Jewish Girl: Real Turkish Cooking
|Flourless Almond and Port Cake
TV host and author, Pati’s Mexican Table
|Marble Chocolate Chunk and Cinnamon Meringues
Pastry chef and author, The Kosher Baker
Cocoa-Dusted Dark Chocolate Truffles
Debbi Minkoff Miller
Owner and Top Banana, Banana Love Muffins
|Masala Chai Ice Cream
Food and travel photographer and blogger, Food Wanderings