Easter & Passover

Here are both a full Easter meal and a Passover meal from the new edition of American Wholefoods Cuisine: 1300 Meatless Recipes from Short Order to Gourmet – the “vegetarian Joy of Cooking.”

                                                                                     Nikki & David

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Easter Menu

White Bean Pâté
Baked Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
Stewed Artichokes, Italian Style
Carrots with Walnuts
Spinach Salad
Orange-Apricot Cake

Passover Menu

Eggplant Caviar
Whole Wheat Matzo Balls
Tamari Broth with Greens
Matzo Lasagna
Sweet Ginger Carrots with Raisins
Orange-Section Salad
Coconut Kisses
Almond Sponge Torte

Easter Meal

White Bean Pâté

A lusty pâté for crackers or crusty bread.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 cups cooked white beans, well drained
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons cooking sherry
1 tablespoon melted butter
minced parsley or paprika

Heat oil in a small skillet and sauté garlic quickly until it begins to color. Add cayenne and cook for 30 seconds. Add beans and mash with a fork as they cook until you have a puree. Stir in soy sauce and sherry and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer until dry.

Pack into an oiled crock or bowl. Pour melted butter over the surface and poke holes with a toothpick to allow most of the butter to penetrate the interior. Cover and chill.

To serve, unmold onto a plate and decorate generously with parsley or paprika. Serve with crackers.

Makes 1½ cups; serves 8

Baked Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

1 pound broccoli
2 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese (preferably pot style or low fat)
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 cup shredded cheese of choice
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup crumb mix made from whole wheat bread or cracker crumbs, wheat germ and ground nuts in any proportion
Scant 2 tablespoons oil

Chop broccoli, including stems and leaves, into small pieces. You should have about 5 cups. Steam for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350oF.

Combine eggs, cottage cheese, scallions, and shredded cheese. Season to taste with salt according to saltiness of cheese.

Grease a shallow 2-quart baking dish and cover with half the broccoli, half the cheese mixture, the remaining broccoli and remaining cheese. Combine crumbs with enough oil to moisten and sprinkle on top of casserole.

Bake for 25 to 20 minutes until set and brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Serves 4

Note: For serving a crowd, double the recipe using a shallow 4-quart casserole or 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Stewed Artichokes, Italian Style

A good vegan Easter entrée featuring artichokes, which are an early spring vegetable.

1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, quartered
¼ cup olive oil
2 large artichokes
1 teaspoon oregano
2 sprigs parsley
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
½ teaspoon salt (omit if beans are salted)

Cook onion and garlic in oil slowly over low heat for about 10 minutes until soft but not brown. This can be done in a skillet or a 1½- to 2-quart pot.

While onion cooks, prepare the artichokes by trimming the leaf tips, scooping out the hairy choke and peeling any stem that remains. Cut each artichoke in half and each half into 4 to 8 thin wedges. Keep prepared pieces in a water bath seasoned with lemon to prevent browning.

Drain artichokes and add to onion with oregano and parsley. Cover and cook over low heat until just tender. Young artichokes cook in about 10 minutes; old or tough specimens take longer.

Add chickpeas, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer until well heated and quite tender.

Serves 4

Carrots with Walnuts

6 medium carrots
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup walnuts

Slice carrots into thin disks. Combine with water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.

Add soy sauce and walnuts and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until moisture evaporates.

Serves 4

Spinach Salad

8 cups spinach
¼ pound mushrooms, sliced (about 1 ¼ cups)
4 scallions, sliced
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
soy sauce
½ cup homemade or high quality store bought oil and vinegar dressing

Combine spinach, mushrooms and scallions in a salad bowl.

Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet and when they pop, remove from heat. Season lightly with soy sauce. Toss into the salad.

Toss with dressing when ready to serve.

Serves 4

Orange-Apricot Cake

2 eggs
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey, divided
1 cup plain, unflavored yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped dried apricots
½ cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350oF.

Beat eggs until very light. Beat in ¾ cup honey. Add yogurt and vanilla and beat until creamy.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, making sure baking powder and baking soda are evenly mixed and not caked. Fold into egg mixture gently but thoroughly. Stir in dried apricots. Pour into an oiled, floured 8-inch-square baking pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons honey to the orange juice, stirring to dissolve. When cake comes out of the oven, prick the surface all over with a toothpick and gradually pour orange juice evenly on top. Leave in pan to cool and absorb juice.

Cut and serve from the pan.

Makes one 8-inch square; serves 9 to 12

Passover Meals

Eggplant Caviar

Of Russian derivation, eggplant caviar should be served very cold. It can be made well in advance and will keep up to 2 weeks with refrigeration.

1 pound eggplant
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped tomato
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

Make an inch-long slit in eggplant to release steam and cook by baking in a 350o oven. Or, cut into cubes and steam until tender.

When cooked eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel and chop very fine. You should have about 1½ cups.

Combine eggplant with remaining ingredients and chill.

Serves 8

Matzo Balls

Everyone household has its favorite matzo ball recipe. What distinguishes this from all others is that it is made with whole wheat matzo. Serve in your favorite vegetable broth or in the Tamari Broth below.

4 whole wheat matzos
2 eggs
1 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons seltzer or plain water

Crush the matzos into fine crumbs in the blender, processor, or with a rolling pin. You should have 1 cup crumbs.

Beat eggs with oil and salt. Stir in crumbs. Add seltzer and mix to a smooth batter. Chill for 30 minutes or longer.

To cook, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a wide 5-quart pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Shape chilled dough into 1-inch balls using a light hand. Drop into simmering water. When they rise, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain.

To serve, place in bowls and cover with hot soup. If matzo balls have cooled down before they are served, place them in the soup pot and reheat for a few minutes.

Makes 12-14 matzo balls; 4-6 servings

Tamari Broth with Greens

8 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon oil
4 cups water
4 outer leaves romaine lettuce, coarsely shredded
½ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt

Cook scallions in oil for 1 minute to soften. Add water and bring to boil. Add lettuce and simmer for 10 minutes. Add soy sauce and salt.

Serves 4

Matzo Lasagna

2 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 whole wheat matzos
3 cups cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 medium tomatoes, sliced, or 2 cups canned, drained tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups tomato juice

Preheat oven to 350o F.

Place half the onion slices in a shallow 2-quart baking dish generously greased with oil. Cover with two of the matzos, broken into pieces if necessary. Top with 1½ cups cottage cheese, ½ cup mozzarella, ¼ cup cheddar, and half the tomatoes. Season with half the salt and pepper.

Top with two more matzos, remaining onion, cottage cheese, shredded cheeses, tomatoes and seasoning. Pour juice evenly over top. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.

Uncover, sprinkle with additional cheese if desired, and bake 10 minutes longer. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

Sweet Ginger Carrots with Raisins

1 pound carrots, diced (about 3 cups)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup raisins
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup water

Combine all ingredients in a 1-quart pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat until just tender, about 15 minutes.

Serves 4

Orange-Section Salad

The inclusion of some bitter greens makes this especially appropriate for the Passover table.

6 cups torn greens (preferably romaine with a little escarole or some other dark, bitter green)
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
thin slices sweet Spanish or red Bermuda onion
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
6 tablespoons oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon minced orange rind

Combine beans, oranges and onion in a salad bowl. Combine remaining ingredients to create the dressing. Toss dressing with salad just before serving.

Serves 4

Coconut Kisses

2 egg whites
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup finely ground sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 375o F.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually beat in honey. Whites will soften slightly. Fold in remaining ingredients.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet covered with unglazed paper, such a brown grocery bags.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until nicely colored. Remove from oven, let stand a minute or two to set, then remove with a spatula and cool completely on a rack.

Makes 6 dozen kisses

Almond Sponge Torte

A light, flourless nut cake.

2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ cup almonds, ground to a meal
½ tablespoon lemon juice
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350o F.

Beat egg yolks until thick. Gradually beat in honey and maple syrup. Stir in almond meal and lemon juice.

Beat whites in a separate bowl until stiff, adding a pinch of salt when they become foamy. Fold in egg yolk mixture. Spread in a greased, floured 8-inch layer cake pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until puffed and brown. Turn off oven, leave door open and let sit for 10 minutes. When cake has settled, remove from pan and cool.

Makes one 8-inch round; serves 6

Recipes from the Nikki & David Goldbeck’s American Wholefoods Cuisine ©