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Gathering Around the Table for Passover | Great Performances


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Gathering Around the Table for Passover
by Liz Neumark

Passover, like most religiously significant holidays, has a deep spiritual side, rich with observances and traditions.  Like most great holidays, it incorporates a dazzling array of food traditions, which reflect the deep and diverse cultural heritage of its observers.  

The Seder is the main event, celebrated on the first two nights of the holiday.  Storytelling, singing and reading from the book of the Haggadah, which recounts the story of the Exodus from Egypt, lead up to a glorious meal, brimming with cultural traditions.  

I reached out to a group of friends and family to gather some recipes to share with you. There are culinary guidelines for the holiday:  No flour (so no bread), and a variety of other exclusions based on your family’s origins. Sephardic Jews (from Eastern countries) eat legumes whereas Ashkenazi Jews (from Western/European countries) avoid rice, peas and beans.

Everyone has his or her own favorite recipes for Seder meal. Some meals are very traditional (matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket) but many reflect modern Israeli cuisine as seen in the books of Yotam Ottolenghi and Michael Solmonov.   

Here is a roundup from our friends, family and chefs:

Linda Daitz: Haroset, the ceremonial dish representing the mortar used by Jewish slaves to make bricks and buildings.

Linda Capeloto Sendowski: Sephardic Honey Syrup Soaked Almond Cake

Dianne Stern: Flourless Chocolate Cake, a family treasure

Ronnie Davis: Gefilte Fish, a Passover staple 

Rachel Neumark Herlands: Veggie Cutlets, a dish adored by her children and grandchildren

Chef Geoff Rudaw, Plaza Ballroom: Butternut Squash, Greens, Pepitas & Dry Cherry Vinaigrette

Chef Saul Bolton, Culinary Director of Brooklyn Museum and Norm's (opening in May 2016): Passover Kugel and Roasted Chicken

My cookbook, Sylvia's TableHerb-Roasted Salmon 

Please feel free to send me your recipes so we can build our file and share next year.


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