Passover Food | Beyond the seder: delicious dishes for the rest of the week

Planning Passover meals is always a challenge. For the seders, most of us focus on traditional family recipes because they are tried and proven, and because everyone likes them.

But what about the remaining six days of meals? Once the big seder meals are done, it’s nice to be able to eat healthy, simple and flavorful meals for the rest of the week. Here are some recipes that I make on Passover because they are delicious, easy to prepare and provide flexibility as to when they can be served.


Carrot-Ginger Soup

Serves 8

Carrot-Ginger Soup  photos/courtesy helen nash

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, quartered

1 3/4 lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced, plus

1 extra carrot for garnish

1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced

5 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, apple and ginger, and saute for 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, about 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender.

Cool a little. Puree the soup in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Return it to the saucepan. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve hot, cold or room.

To prepare the garnish: Steam the remaining carrot until just tender and grate. Before serving, sprinkle each bowl with the grated carrot.


Halibut Ceviche

Serves 4

Halibut Ceviche photos/courtesy helen nash

Ceviche is a refreshing appetizer that I make with fresh fish marinated in lime juice. The juice “cooks” the fish in a very short time, allowing it to turn opaque and firm. It can be served on a bed of butter lettuce with slices of avocado or makes a nice, light lunch.

1 lb. skinless halibut, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes

1 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄3 cup lime juice, plus 2 Tbs.

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, finely chopped

2 scallions, including the green part, thinly sliced

1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

freshly ground black pepper

butter lettuce

avocado slices

Place fish in a nonreactive bowl and season with salt. Pour juice over fish and press down so the fish is submerged in the juice. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until fish is opaque and firm.

Drain and discard the lime juice. Add peppers, scallions and cilantro to the fish. Just before serving add the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Chicken with Potatoes and Olives

Serves 4

This is a meal in itself. I bake it in an attractive casserole so it can go directly from the oven to table.

5 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

9 garlic cloves

kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

leaves from 10 thyme sprigs

freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)

5 plum tomatoes

1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, quartered

1/2 cup pitted black olives, quartered

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With 1 Tbs. of the oil, grease a glass, ceramic or enamel-lined baking pan that can hold all the vegetables in a single layer.

Coarsely chop 4 garlic cloves on a cutting board. Sprinkle with 1⁄2 tsp. salt and, using a knife, crush them into a paste. Place the paste in a small bowl and combine it with the lemon juice, 2 Tbs. of the oil, half of the thyme leaves and pepper to taste.

Pat dry the chicken breasts with paper towels and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the mixture and set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water; bring the water back to a boil and drain. Core the tomatoes and slip off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in half widthwise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds. (Some seeds will remain.) Cut the tomatoes in quarters.

Thickly slice the remaining 5 garlic cloves and spread them in the prepared baking pan along with the tomatoes, potatoes, olives, the rest of the thyme leaves and the remaining 2 Tbs. of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until almost tender.

Place the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Turn them over, spoon on some pan juices and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is slightly pink on the inside. Cover with foil for 1 minute.


Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 lbs.)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking pan with foil.

Cut the stalk and leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Cut the head into small florets. Place the garlic in the baking pan. Arrange the florets on top; drizzle with the oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender.


Chocolate Meringue Squares

Makes 31⁄2 dozen squares

These meringue squares are like cookies, but they are light, chocolaty and surprisingly low in calories. They can be presented as cookies or cut into individual squares and served with either sorbet or fresh fruit on the side.

1 Tbs. unsalted margarine, for greasing the pan

1/2 lb. blanched almonds

6 oz. good-quality imported semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces

8 large egg whites (see note below)

1 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan with wax paper and grease the paper with the margarine.

Chop the almonds in a food processor, in 2 batches, until medium-fine. Transfer to a bowl. Chop the chocolate in the processor until fine and combine with the almonds.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Using the balloon whisk attachment, beat at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff.

With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the chocolate-almond mixture into the egg whites, making a motion like a figure eight with the spatula. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out almost dry.

Cool on a wire rack. Invert onto a cutting board and peel off the paper. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.