Passover: Beyond the Seder


Passover lasts for seven or eight days, depending on how you count — which presumably encompasses 21 or 24 meals. But all we ever hear about is the seder, and generally we don’t attend more than two of them.

But there are still five or six dinners to consider, and what about breakfast and lunch? We gotta eat!

Traditional seder foods are delicious and special, and invoke all sorts of positive associations and memories. But with their multiple courses, rich dishes and extensive length, the meals tend to be rather heavy. Here we are talking about the non-seder meals, or what to eat during Passover when you are not at the seder table.

There are a number of factors to consider when planning meals like this. First, how to use and repurpose the leftovers from the seder; secondly, what to have for breakfast and lunch; and finally, what to have for dinner on the non-seder nights and still have your clothing fit you when Passover ends. Oh, and of course, no chametz.

The following two dishes offer ways to use the leftover chicken and tzimmes from your seder, and deliver a delicious, light supper.

Chicken Salad

Serves four to six

  • 4 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Chill and serve on matzah or a bed of lettuce.

Tzimmes Salad

Serves four to six

This is a great way to use surplus tzimmes. If the pieces of potato, yam, carrot, etc., are very large, cut them into small, bite-sized pieces for this salad.

  • 1 bag baby kale or arugula
  • 2 cups tzimmes with drippings
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Generous sprinkle of fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Place the greens in a salad bowl and top with tzimmes and drippings.

Sprinkle with vinegar, oil and seasonings and toss well. Serve immediately.

Baked Potato Bar

For dinner on a non-seder night, consider a healthy, simple baked potato bar. This arrangement offers a fun, casual, healthy and light meal while still sticking to the rules. Mix it up by using both white and sweet potatoes, and offer a variety of toppings. Pair this with a simple green salad and all is well.

A word on the baking: White potatoes take longer to bake than sweet potatoes, so wise cooks put the whites in about 10 minutes ahead. Also, sweets tend to leak a bit and that means a mess in the bottom of the oven. Place them on foil or in a baking dish to avoid this problem. Here’s the process:

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the outsides of potatoes. Prick each one with a fork several times. Put the white potatoes in the oven — they cook for one hour. Place the sweet potatoes on foil or in a baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes.

Suggested toppings:

For dairy meals:

  • Grated cheese such as cheddar, Swiss, provolone or Monterey jack
  • Ricotta or cottage cheese
  • Yogurt or sour cream
  • Cream cheese and lox

Pareve options:

  • Salsa
  • Ranch dressing (non-dairy)
  • Caramelized onions
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Toum
  • Tapenade
  • Pesto
  • Cooked green vegetables such as spinach or broccoli

For meat meals:

  • Bolognese sauce or “sloppy joe” sandwich filling

Matzah Frittata

Serves two to four

This is very similar to matzah brei, the traditional scrambled egg/matzah combination, but it has a bit more cachet to it since it is sliced like a pie. The version described here is the most basic, but the possible variations are endless; suggestions follow the recipe.

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 sheets matzah, broken into medium-sized chunks
  • ¾ cup very hot water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Place the matzah in a medium-sized bowl and cover it with hot water. Let it sit for five minutes until softened, then drain.

Return the soaked matzah to the bowl and add six eggs. Mix well, and add the salt and pepper. If additional ingredients are desired (suggestions above) add them now.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet and pour in the egg mixture. Allow the mixture to cook on medium, gently scraping the sides of the skillet and tipping it to allow uncooked eggs to seep underneath.

When the bottom of the frittata is just solidified, loosen the sides and bottom and carefully slide it, cooked side down/raw side up, onto a plate. Invert the skillet over the plate and turn the frittata over so it lands, raw side down, back in the skillet.

Return the skillet to the heat and complete cooking.

Note: If the dexterity required for this operation seems too intimidating, you can pop the skillet into the broiler to finish cooking the top, just be sure to use an ovenproof pan or wrap the skillet’s plastic handle with several layers of foil so it doesn’t melt. l

This frittata is a blank slate; just about anything can be added to jazz it up. Consider these combinations:

  • olives, sundried tomatoes, scallions, fresh herbs and feta cheese
  • caramelized onions, turkey or beef sausage, cooked spinach
  • roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella
  • sautéed onions, lox, cream cheese


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