CHEF YVETTE’S PASSOVER WITH A GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS-March 6, 2018
Celebrate our passage from bondage to freedom with 5 dishes with simple, healthy ingredients that take you on a culinary journey from Central Europe to the Middle East, Asia, South America and Mt. Olympus. These dishes can be prepared in advance and assembled last minute to leave you free to enjoy your family and guests on Seder night.
Chag Kasher VeSameach!, Chef Yvette
Braised Beets with Belgian Endive***Charoset, Iraqui Style
Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage with Quinoa and Roasted Veggies
For the Braised Beets with Belgian Endive:
1 bunch fresh organic beets (about 3- 4 )
2 heads Belgian endive
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (optional—not for Seder night!)
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 1 garlic clove, minced
1)Preheat oven to 350°F. For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, oil, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2)Cut tops from beets, peel and chop into cubes. Place beets in an ovenproof saucepan with a lid. Add olive oil, fresh herbs, salt to taste and a little water just to a depth of ¼”.
3)Roast beets, covered, 45 minutes or until beets are fork-tender. Transfer beets to a large decorative salad bowl. Let cool slightly. Drizzle with vinaigrette; toss gently to combine.
4)Separate endive leaves carefully by running knife blade around bottom of stalk and arrange in flower pattern in bowl around beets. Sprinkle w. almonds. Top with goat cheese (on all other nights), and serve.
Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage with Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables
For the Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables (a make-ahead recipe that you can do 1-2 days before seder)
Quinoa is an Andean plant which originated in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia. Quinoa was cultivated and used by pre-Columbian civilizations, like the Incas, who held it to be sacred. It was replaced by cereals on the arrival of the Spanish, despite being a local staple food at the time. Quinoa is actually the seed of a plant in the goosefoot family (like spinach and beets). But from a culinary and nutritional perspective, it’s considered a whole grain, low-fat and full of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Roasted Veggie ingredients
1-2 carrots, scrubbed and leaves removed, grated or diced small
1 medium red onion, sliced thin and cut into eight pieces
1 red and yellow pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
Box of mushrooms, sliced thin. 1-2 Zuccini if desired.
Olive oil for roasting
Salt & pepper, herbs, 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
To roast the vegetables
Preheat the oven to 390F (375F fan forced or convection ovens).
Place the carrots into the center of a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, and Place in the oven.
Toss the mushrooms with olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread on a baking tray, and place in the oven. [See note 1]
Toss the red onion with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on a tray in the oven.
Toss the peppers with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on a tray in the oven.
Toss the baby squash with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on a tray in the oven.
Toss the red pepper with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on a tray in the oven.
Roast the beetroot for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer easily pierces the beetroot. Remove from the oven, and open the foil packet to allow the beetroot to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beetroot and cut them into quarters. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the remaining vegetables until softened and lightly browned. My approximate cooking times are: sweet potato – 45 minutes, baby carrots – 30 minutes, red onion – 30 minutes, baby squash – 25 minutes, red pepper – 20 minutes.
Remove the vegetables from the oven once cooked. Some vegetable pieces may cook faster than others, so remove these individually during the cooking time if necessary to prevent overcooking.
For the quinoa ingredients
1 cup quinoa
1 onion, chopped coarsely
5 – 6 Tablespoons chopped herbs (I used oregano, basil, herbes de provence)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper, chili if desired
For the quinoa base
1.While the vegetables are roasting, saute chopped onion with salt and pepper. Add quinoa and toast for 1 minute. Cook the quinoa according to packet directions, (adding 2 cups boiling water until absorbed, on low flame).
- Put the cooked quinoa and the chopped herbs into a large bowl
- Season with salt & pepper, then toss the herbs lightly through the quinoa.
To finish the salad:
1)Add the warm vegetables to the quinoa. Add handful or two of golden raisins (for the stuffed cabbage filling).
2)Reserve the lemon dressing for the cabbage sauce.
3)Toss the vegetables through the quinoa to combine.
Note 1: I use two large baking trays for this recipe. I place the vegetables that take the longest time to cook in the oven first, and then prepare the next round of vegetables. I use a portion of the baking tray for each type of vegetable, keeping like vegetables together to make it easier to remove them when cooked. The effect, when blended with the quinoa, is flecks of roasted veggies of different hues.
Other Notes: The quantities of vegetables are not extremely important here. Feel free to swap out the vegetables and herbs I have used for your favorites. The dressing is extremely tart when tasted on its own. This is deliberate, and the sharpness of the dressing will be balanced out by the sweetness of the roasted vegetables. I can only provide approximate cooking times in this recipe. Exact cooking times will depend on the type and freshness of your vegetables, and the size of the cut vegetables.
For the Cabbage: Ingredients
- 1 large or 2 medium heads cabbage.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
- 1 cups cooked quinoa (white and red).
- 2 cups roasted seasoned vegetables (see above)
- 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt, divided (see recipe notes)
- 3/4 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper divided
- 15-16 ounces canned tomato sauce
or two 8-ounce cans or one 15-ounce can or jar
- 28 ounce can tomatoes with their juice or crushed
- 1 lemon – Juice, 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Boil a huge pot of water. Cut the core out of the cabbage with a sharp paring knife. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the cabbage and cook, covered for about 10 minutes. Occasionally roll the cabbage around so each side is under water as it cooks.
- Once it is done, gently lift the cabbage into a colander or strainer set in a bowl. Pour cool water over the cabbage. When it is cool enough to handle, separate the leaves. If inner leaves are not pliable, put what is left of the cabbage back into boiling water for a few minutes. Use tablespoon to gently separate leaves from cabbage.
- Shave off the thickest part of each leaf, near where the leaf had been attached to the core. Don’t discard, just slice thinly to use for lining the pan.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degree F.
- Mix the quinoa, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add the roasted vegetables and combine all the ingredients with your hands. Make small meatballs between golfball and baseball-sized. Set them aside on a plate. If they don’t stick, add 1 beaten egg.
- Loosely wrap each quinoaball in a cabbage leaf and place seam side down on a platter. Arrange the leftover leaves on the bottom of 1 or 2 heavy oven-safe pots. (Total volume of the entire dish is about 6-6.5 quarts.) Move the cabbage rolls into the pot(s), making sure to put the seam side down. Layer with about half of the thin onion slices, and leftover cabbage slices, which typically fall apart into crescents as you pick them up.
- Once all the cabbage rolls are in the pot(s), add the tomato sauce, the lemon juice, and the remaining teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper You can either mix the ingredients in the pot or stir them in a bowl first. Top with the remaining onions and shredded leftover cabbage leaves.
- Bring the pot(s) of stuffed cabbage to a boil on the stovetop. Transfer to the oven and bake covered for 1 hour, test a roll to determine doneness, and increase by 30 minute increments if cabbage is still al dente. It should be very soft when done.
If you lift the cooked head of cabbage out of the pot – instead of pouring out all the water after the cabbage cooks – you’ll still have the hot water left if it turns out that the inner leaves are not yet cooked when you peel down to them. Do not be concerned if a cabbage leaf tears. You can use it to line the pot(s) or keep it on the bottom side of the roll as you put it the cabbage roll in the pot. Keeping balls loosely formed and loosely wrapped is important so that the quinoa has space to expand inside the cabbage rolls. When reheating any leftovers, add a bit more tomato sauce, juice, or other liquid if the rolls have absorbed most of the liquid.
Kibbeh—a light version where we skip the doughy shell, eat the filling. Why? Its Passover!
What You’ll Need for mixture
2 lbs finely ground beef and turkey, lean (lamb is also OK)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil for coating
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped dill
Several crushed garlic cloves
- Kibbeh shaping
- Take an egg sized amount of meat mixture and form into a ball.
- You can then shape it into a point, or football shape, and place on roasting pan.
- Although kibbeh is usually fried, save time (and fat) and broil for 10 minutes on each side in 400F oven. This keeps your stovetop cleaner too!
- If you want to serve it with a sauce:
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tbs cornstarch moistened with 2 TBS water
- Whisk stock and cornstarch mixture while warm
- Pour over kibbeh after it has been broiled, before serving. Garnish with sprigs of parsley.
Sweet endings: Ambrosia (Citrus sections tossed with flaked sweetened coconut)
The word “ambrosia” means delicious or fragrant. Ambrosia was also the magical fruit of the gods in ancient Greek mythology. The gods on Mount Olympus ate ambrosia to maintain immortality and without it, they became weak. In Homer’s Iliad, the gods bathed in ambrosia and used it as perfume. So, on this Pesach, boost your immune system with citrus, eat your ambrosia and stay strong!
3 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned, sections cut in half crosswise (1 cup)
½ fresh pineapple, cut in chunks (2 cups)
1 grapefruit, preferably red, peeled, pith removed, sections cut in half crosswise
2-3 kiwis, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (1 cup)
1 cup sweetened coconut, divided (half to be mixed in, half for garnish)
1 Tablespoon honey (optional)
½ tsp vanilla (optional)
Place orange sections, pineapple, kiwi, and coconut in a bowl. Toss to combine.
Sprinkle with half the coconut, 1 Tbs honey, ½ tsp vanilla, (if desired).
Garnish with remaining coconut before serving.
Iraqi Charoset-(simpler and sweeter than Ashkenazi Charoset, try it!)
1 jar Silan (Israeli date spread available at ACME and Rt. 18 Shoprite in Israeli food aisle)*
1 cup toasted chopped pecans (toast in oven for a few minutes at 350, watching to prevent burning)
Pour Silan into shallow delicate bowl. Sprinkle toasted chopped pecans on top. Serve on Seder plate, and in communal bowl.
*If you can’t find Silan, you might sometimes see a pkg. of pressed dates, which can be dissolved in 1 cup boiling water and pureed into a honey-like consistency.
Happy and Healthy Passover to All!