Passover food | Clergycouple pass over the meat, stick to veggies

Vegetarian food brought Cantor Jenna Greenberg and Rabbi Josh Ginsberg together. They met as students at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, when a classmate organized a singles dinner at a kosher vegetarian restaurant in Chinatown.

Now married, the two settled in Dayton, Ohio, two years ago. He is the rabbi at Beth Abraham Synagogue, Dayton’s only Conservative congregation; she leads the music program at Hillel Academy, a Jewish day school, and teaches high school Judaic classes at a nondenominational prep school.

Ginsberg said he neither encourages his congregants to become vegetarians nor discourages them from eating meat. “People know I’m a vegetarian, but I don’t engage in proselytizing vegetarianism,” he said. “Jewish tradition allows that one can eat meat. I really applaud the trend of some who are trying to create ethical, eco-kashrut and small-scale slaughtering where animals are fed a better diet and treated better.”

A few times a year, the couple prepare vegetarian entrees alongside meat dishes for Shabbat dinners at the synagogue.. At home, they turn out creative meals for their boys — ages 7, 5 and eight months. Greenberg said their recipes come from experimentation, cookbooks and online recipes, and from friends and family.

Their kosher-for-Passover seder menu includes caprese salad, potato spinach gnocchi, eggplant Parmesan, mushroom quinoa pilaf, melon salad and flourless chocolate cake. They start with a healthy alternative to matzah ball soup, a recipe developed by their friend Susan K. Finston, author of “Dining in the Garden of Eden.”


Roman Soup with Passover Dumplings

Serves 6

3-4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, small dice

1 celery stalk, chopped

6 cups chopped mixed greens: Swiss chard, spinach, kale, butter lettuce, Savoy cabbage or other seasonally available greens

6 cups vegetable broth or water

salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese

Sauté chopped onion in oil until translucent over medium-low heat. Add carrot and celery and cook until vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in mixed chopped greens. When vegetables are wilted, add soup stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1-2 Tbs. Passover dump-lings per serving. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.



2 cups mashed potatoes

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1⁄4 cup Passover cake meal

1 Tbs. finely chopped parsley or basil (optional)

1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients, adding additional cake meal if needed to form a dough that is pliable and not too sticky. Bring water to a boil in a 2-3 quart pot. Form small balls out of the dough and carefully slide them into the water to bring them to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, remove dumplings from the pot as they rise to the top, and transfer to a container, adding 1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil.