Passover Specialties

May 9, 2009

4 min read


Cooking expert Joan Kekst serves up the best of traditional and the latest Passover recipes.

Who better to learn how to make a Passover Seder from than ultimate Jewish grandmother and Passover expert, Joan Kekst? In her new cookbook, Passover Cookery: In the Kitchen With Joan Kekst, this food columnist, kosher cooking instructor, and hostess to over 30 Passover guests, provides helpful tips and the best of both traditional and the latest Passover recipes.

With Passover just a few weeks away, Kekst's cookbook is a must for both experienced cooks and those planning to make a Seder for the first time. Whether you're looking to create a new family tradition, re-create the warmth of nostalgic childhood memories, or simply create an impressive dish to bring as a guest, Passover Cookery transforms the confusing task of "kosher for Passover" cooking into simple and enjoyable steps anyone can follow.

In Passover Cookery, Joan Kekst shares dozens of traditional and contemporary recipes from her extensive private collection, including Sephardic and Ashkenazi ethnic specialties, foods children will love, and low-fat/low-cholesterol and vegetarian recipe suggestions. Here are a few sample of some of her easy-to-make dishes that are sure to impress:


    Serves 10 as a side dish

    2 T vegetable oil
    l lb. carrots, scraped and grated
    2 tart apples, peeled and grated
    1 T lemon juice
    2 T orange juice
    1 T sugar
    3 cups matzo farfel
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
    1 tsp. grated lemon zest
    3/4 cup sliced almonds

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13" pan with 1 T vegetable oil. Grate carrots and apples in food processor for a total of about 5 cups. Combine with lemon and orange juices in a large bowl. Rinse matzo farfel in warm water, drain. Add farfel to carrot mixture with sugar, ginger, nutmeg, lemon zest, salt and 1 T vegetable oil. Taste and adjust flavor; batter should be moist. Spoon into prepared pan, scatter with almonds. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until crisp on top and mixture is set. Serve hot or at room temperature.


    3 ripe avocados
    1/2 cup walnuts, ground
    4 T orange juice
    2 T lemon juice
    2 T honey
    1/2 tsp. cardamom
    6 walnut halves
    Orange slices, optional

    Cut avocados in half, remove pits, scoop pulp into bowl. Mash avocado with a fork and stir in ground walnuts, orange and lemon juices. Add cardamom and honey, blend well. Chill and garnish with walnut halves and orange slices. Serve on lettuce leaves with matzo meal popovers.


    4 egg whites
    pinch of salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup ground almonds
    2 T matzo cake meal
    1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind

    Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 12-section muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.

    Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until hold soft peaks, gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until the meringue holds stiff peaks and is smooth and shiny. In another bowl, combine the shredded coconut, 1/4 cup sugar, the almonds, matzo cake meal and grated lemon rind. Gently fold the mixture into the meringue.

    Fill prepared cups 3/4 full of batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and crusty on the surface. Store airtight for several days.


    - Pareve


    1 cup finely chopped walnuts
    6 to 8-T matzo meal
    3 T sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    4 T melted margarine

    Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a 10-inch pie plate. In a medium bowl, combine all crust ingredients. They should hold together when pinched between the fingers. Press into pie pan. Bake crust 5 to 8 minutes, until set. Fill a partially baked crust with the first brownie recipe. Reduce oven to 350° F and bake 35 to 40 minutes. A knife inserted in center will come out clean. Cool on a rack. Cut in wedges to serve. Brownie pie keeps well overnight covered with plastic or frozen. Serves 10

    NOTE: To use crust with an unbaked filing, bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden and firm.


    - Pareve

    6-oz. semi-sweet chocolate cut up
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted pareve margarine
    4 eggs, room temperature
    Pinch of salt
    1 1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. vanilla or 1-T vanilla sugar
    1 cup matzo cake meal
    1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, dust with matzo cake flour.

Melt chocolate and margarine in microwave at 50 percent power or in top of double boiler set over hot water. Cool.

Beat eggs with a pinch of salt, add sugar, beat until thick and lemon-colored. Blend in cooled chocolate mixture, vanilla and cake meal. Stir in 3/4-cup nuts. Pour into prepared pan, smooth with rubber spatula. Sprinkle top with remaining nuts. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a rack, cut into squares while slightly warm.

Makes 24 squares. NOTE: To fill Brownie pie, reduce nuts to 3/4 cup. Add 1/2-cup nuts to batter and sprinkle 1/4-cup on top of pie before baking.

For more great Passover recipes, be sure to go to:

Passover Cookery retails for $24.95 and is published by Five Star Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 6698, Chandler, AZ 85246-6698. For a review copy, permission to reprint additional recipes, or for more information, call 480-940-8182, email to: or visit the website

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