update deskJewish & Israeli Holidays

Passover 2024

For savoring after the seders

First, the vegetable main course. Then comes the chocolate.

Eggplant. Credit: furbymama/Pixabay.
Eggplant. Credit: furbymama/Pixabay.

The main course is a tasty, room-temperature side dish that you should make in advance so that when you are ready to grill, most of your meal is already prepared. I broil the eggplant slices in the oven, but you also can cook them on the grill before you cook the steak.

Roasted Eggplant with Bell-Pepper Vinaigrette (Pareve)

Serves 6-8

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 17 minutes

ADVANCE PREP: May be made 2 days in advance; finished dish needs to marinate for 2 hours

EQUIPMENT: Cutting board • Knives • Measuring spoons • Pastry brush • Grill or baking pan • Medium frying pan • Tongs • Silicone spatula

CUTTING PEPPERS: To cut bell peppers into small dice (cubes), first cut the peppers in half, from the stem end to the bottom, and remove the seeds and white pith. Cut in half again lengthwise. Slice each part the long way into ¼-inch-thick slices. Gather the slices together and cut them across into small cubes. Repeat with the other pepper quarters.

Roasted Eggplant
Roasted Eggplant. Photo by Michael Bennett Kress/Reprinted with permission from “The New Passover Menu” (Sterling 2013).

Ingredients:

2 medium eggplants, not peeled, cut into ¾-inch-thick slices

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

ground cumin and turmeric for dusting eggplant

½ red pepper, seeded and cut into ¼-inch cubes

½ yellow pepper, seeded and cut into ¼-inch cubes

½ medium red onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar

salt and black pepper

Directions:

To prepare the eggplant:

Preheat the broiler.

Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil on a grill pan or other baking pan and rub to coat. Add the eggplant slices in one layer and brush with another tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle a little cumin and turmeric on top.

Broil for 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned. Turn over the eggplant slices; sprinkle with some more cumin and turmeric; and add some black pepper. Broil for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Let cool for 3 minutes and then transfer to a serving platter.

To prepare the peppers and onions:

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced red and yellow peppers, and the onions, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 1 minute.

To assemble the dish:

Scatter the pepper and onion mixture over the eggplant slices, making sure to place some on top of all the slices, as well as under them. Let the dish marinate for 2 hours or overnight. Serve at room temperature.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Chocolate Quinoa Cake. Photography by Bill Milne/Reprinted with permission from “The Healthy Jewish Kitchen” (Sterling 2015).

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (Pareve, Gluten-Free)

Serves 12

I had heard the myth of chocolate cakes made with cooked quinoa and didn’t quite believe that they would actually be tasty. This cake is surprisingly moist and delicious—great for Passover and all year round.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

COOK TIME: 15 minutes to cook quinoa, 50 minutes to bake cake

ADVANCE PREP: May be made 3 days in advance or frozen

EQUIPMENT: Measuring cups and spoons, small saucepan with lid, 12-cup Bundt pan, food processor, medium microwave-safe bowl or double boiler, silicone spatula, wooden kebab skewer, wire cooling rack, large microwave-safe bowl, whisk

Ingredients:

¾ cup quinoa

1½ cups water

cooking spray

2 tablespoons potato starch

⅓ cup orange juice (from 1 orange)

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or other vanilla, if for Passover)

¾ cup coconut oil

1½ cups sugar

1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)

Glaze (Optional)

5 ounces (140g) bittersweet chocolate

1 tablespoon sunflower or safflower oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or other vanilla, if for Passover)

Directions:

Place the quinoa and water into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and cook the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Set the pan aside. The quinoa may be made 1 day in advance.

Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Use cooking spray to grease a 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle the potato starch over the greased pan and then shake the pan to remove any excess starch.

Place the quinoa in the bowl of a food processor. Add the orange juice, eggs, vanilla, oil, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Process until the mixture is very smooth.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, or place in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and put in a microwave for 45 seconds, stirring and then heating the chocolate for another 30 seconds, until it is melted. Add the chocolate to the quinoa batter and process until well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake it for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes and then remove it gently from the pan. Let it cool on a wire cooling rack.

To make the glaze:

Melt the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl in the microwave (see above) or over a double boiler. Add the oil and vanilla and whisk well. Let the glaze sit for 5 minutes and then whisk it again. Use a silicone spatula to spread the glaze all over the cake.

Paula Shoyer is the author of “The Healthy Jewish Kitchen,” “The Holiday Kosher Baker,” “The Kosher Baker,” “The New Passover Menu” and “The Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook.”

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