Our cookery expert Janine Levy presents a selection of festival recipes she describes as ‘Pesach friendly
There were so many food trends in 2017 – low carb, juicing, raw food, and a huge shift towards vegetarianism, but the type of recipes that I was asked for most over the last year was ‘gluten free’. Bread has become ‘the enemy’ and people were looking foralternatives to wheat products.
Personally, I don’t believe in fad diets and certainly not in ‘self- diagnosis’ – this I would always leave to a doctor. However, I remember doing my research throughout the year and thinking ‘These gluten free recipes would be perfect for Pesach’.
I was never into creating pizza out of matzah (WHY??????) or even worse, the dreaded matzah lasagne.
Here are my recipes that are Pesach friendly without feeling the need to soak up sheets of indigestible matzah with water!
Stick to plenty of fruit and vegetables, chicken and fish, and you should have a healthy, stress-free Pesach.
Courgette (zucchini) and Tomato Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
4 courgettes, diced
1 kg tomatoes, chopped
2 liters vegetable stock
1 cm grated turmeric root or 1 tsp turmeric powder
- Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onions and garlic.
- Add the courgettes and fry until softened, then grate in the turmeric.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook on high for 4-5 minutes until softened.
- Add the stock, cover with a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes.
This soup can be served as it is, or if you have a stick blender for Pesach, it can be blended for a smoother soup.
This Greek style dish can sometimes be quite fiddly – here’s my easy Passover version.
4 large potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
4 cloves garlic
500g minced beef
2 400 gram tins chopped tomatoes
2 aubergines, cut into slices
Salt and pepper
1 stalk chopped fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes until just soft, then drain and leave to one side.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic together.
- Add the meat and cook until browned.
- Stir in the tinned tomatoes, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Brush the aubergine slices with oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- In a large ovenproof dish start layering the meat sauce with the aubergine slices.
- Finish off with a layer of the potatoes, cut into slices.
- Brush generously with olive oil.
10. Heat in the oven for 20-25 minutes until everything is crisp and bubbling.
Chocolate orange pots
Desserts at Pesach can be tricky and often laden with sugar. It's best to try to serve fresh fruit as a dessert mostly, but here’s a rich chocolate dessert that doesn’t contain matzo meal and has a relatively low sugar content.
100g butter or margarine
200g bitter sweet chocolate
Juice and grated rind of 1 orange
75g ground almonds
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Grease 6 individual pudding moulds (I use the disposable ones at Pesach and all year round).
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together until thickened.
- Add the orange juice andgrated rind, and then slowly stir in the ground almonds.
- Gently combine the cooled chocolate mixture with the batter, and divide into the six moulds.
- Bake for 12 minutes till just set. They should be a little gooey still on the inside.