Janine Levy

It’s around this time of year when I start to ‘defriend’ people on Facebook. The posts usually start soon after Purim. “I’ve just cleaned out my cutlery drawer for Pesach” or “I’ve koshered my oven and baked  44 coconut macaroons.” Seriously? Who eats coconut macaroons anyway? And … doesn’t your drawer just get dirty again?

I really dream of being this type of person, but the reality is, it’s not going to happen. And the truth is, with hectic, modern lives, this doesn’t happen for most of us. My theory is pretty simple. Why ruin three weeks when you can just blitz it in one?

I keep my menus simple, and use lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Here’s my Seder night brisket recipe, which is best cooked the day before and then sliced  when cold.

Seder Night Brisket with Balsamic Onion Jam


2 kg brisket, rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup Kiddush wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 sliced onion
4 cloves garlic

For the jam

4 red onions, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C.
  2. Place the sliced onion on the bottom of a roasting tin and lay the brisket on top.
  3. Shake up the rest of the ingredients in a screw-top jar. (I save these from year to year from my Pesach jam.)
  4. Cover with foil and roast for 3 hours.
  5. To make the jam, heat up the olive oil in a pan and fry the red onions until softened.
  6. Add the salt, sugar and balsamic.
  7. Cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  8. This jam can now be put in a dish to serve at the table, or covered and put in the fridge to use for the whole week.
  9. Once the brisket is cool, slice and put back in the pan.
  10. The brisket can be reheated in the oven or on a platter.


Passover Granola

Every year I do a different variation of this recipe. Here’s the 2017 version.


4 crushed whole wheat matzos
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup dried apricots
½ cup raisins
½ cup cranberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 150 C.
  2. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, honey, walnuts, cinnamon and salt
  3. Stir in the pieces of broken matza.
  4. Transfer onto a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, shaking the pan and stirring half way through.
  5. Once cool, add the dried fruit.
  6. This can be stored in a canister to keep for the whole of Pesach.
  7. Spoon this over natural yoghurt in the morning or take a small bag out with you as a snack.


Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Thanks to modern farming, strawberries are still with us at Pesach and they are usually at their cheapest. Here is one of my favorite salads for Pesach and all year round.


1 punnet strawberries
1 bag of washed, checked spinach
½ cup toasted almond flakes
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper


  1. Arrange the leaves and strawberries on a platter.
  2. Scatter the almonds over them.
  3. Shake the dressing ingredients together.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad at the last minute.
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About the author

Janine Levy

Janine Levy was born and schooled in Leeds, UK. She studied to be a Home Economics teacher in Manchester and taught Home  Economics in High schools. She and her husband Arran lived in Manchest...

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