Goodbye, matzah hello, greens and tastes of spring

With Passover behind us, we can move on to the rituals of spring, marking it as a season for fresh starts. The house is clean and well aired, the soil is prepared for new growth and even our finances are put in order for the IRS. Brisket and roast chicken can have a night off, giving way to some fresh thought for your Shabbat menus featuring new recipes that reflect this season’s bounty.

The menu that follows is an easy one on the cook because little last-minute attention is needed. Make the green onion butter ahead, and pop the salmon into the oven at the last minute. The asparagus and new potato sauté is a flavorful combination that works perfectly with the salmon. For dessert, a tart-sweet compote of rhubarb spiked with ginger served over toasted slices of pound cake completes this spring-fling feast.

Baked Salmon with Green Onion-Tarragon Butter | Serves 6


1?2 cup butter, room temperature
3 Tbs. fresh tarragon leaves or 1 Tbs. dried
3 green onions, trimmed and minced
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
pinch cayenne
1?2 tsp. salt
6 skinless salmon fillets, about 6 oz. each
salt and pepper
olive oil
Combine butter ingredients until well blended. Place on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap and roll into a log about 1 1?2 inches in diameter. Wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
To make salmon, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper and brush with a bit of olive oil. Place on greased baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes or until done to your liking.
To serve, slice butter log into pieces about 1 inch thick, and place a slice of butter on each salmon fillet.

Potato-Asparagus Sauté | Serves 6

1 1?2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. minced shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
18 small red potatoes, quartered
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1?2 cup vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1?4 cup chopped fresh dill
Cook asparagus in boiling salted water, just until tender, about 3 minutes. Rinse and drain under cold water to stop cooking. Cut into 2-inch pieces and set aside.
In large skillet or sauté pan heat oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add potatoes and paprika and stir over medium heat until potatoes are coated with oil. Add stock, cover and cook over low heat about 10 minutes. Remove cover and raise heat to medium. Cook until potatoes begin to become golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus pieces and stir to combine. Cook about 2 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and garnish with dill.

Gingered Rhubarb Compote with Pound Cake |

Serves 6

2 lbs. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1?2 inch slices
1 1?2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1?2-1 cup sugar (or to taste)
1?2 tsp. cinnamon
2 strips lemon peel
1?4 cup red wine or water
6 slices pound cake, toasted
sweetened whipped cream
Combine rhubarb, ginger, sugar, cinnamon, lemon peel and wine or water in heavy saucepan. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender, stirring occasionally. Let cool, then refrigerate, covered, until chilled. To serve, ladle compote over pound cake, and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

Louise Fiszer is a Palo Alto cooking teacher, author and the co-author of “Jewish Holiday Cooking.” Her columns alternate with those of Rebecca Ets-Hokin. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to [email protected].