Roasted Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Local asparagus is in!!! To me, this is the real sign that spring is here. We will be obsessively eating asparagus for the next few weeks, it’s one of our traditions… “When they pick it, we will eat it”

We also still have some matzoh left over, so I decided to make the romesco sauce as I would have if it was during Passover. That means using matzoh in place of bread. This results in a sauce that is not quite smooth, it remains slightly chunky.

The roasted asparagus is great on its own, but it is even better with the romesco. A happy flavor combo in your mouth.

Roasted Asparagus with Romesco Sauce

Roasted asparagus from Ina Garten, Romesco Sauce from Joy of Kosher


2 lbs fresh asparagus (locally grown)

olive oil

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Romesco Sauce

1 cup whole or sliced almonds

1 sheet of matzoh or 1 slice bread

8 oz jar roasted red pepper

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 plum tomato, quartered

1/4 cup olive oil



Preheat the oven to 400F.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they are thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer an sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

Romesco Sauce

Toast the almonds in a medium skillet over medium heat until they are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. If using bread, toast it.

Rip the toast or break the matzoh into a few pieces and put in the bowl of a food processor. Add the toasted almonds, red peppers, garlic, red wine vinegar, tomato, salt and pepper.

Start processing; pour the olive oil in in a steady stream while the machine is running. Process until all the ingredients are ground and the mixture is pretty smooth (the bread will get smoother than the matzoh will).

Serve the sauce on the asparagus and enjoy!

Serves 8.

Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Escalivada (Catalan Roast Vegetables)

I am in love!

I want to put these vegetables on everything! And yes, we were continuing our Spanish theme from Passover.

It was so simple. Rub on some oil, sprinkle with salt, wrap in aluminum foil, then bake. Unwrap, peel, chop and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and sherry vinegar. And, ta da! A bowl full of deliciousness!

I had made a stuffed sourdough flatbread- what a perfect base for the vegetables, and a fabulous lunch (or breakfast).

Escalivada (Catalan Roast Vegetables)

from Food 52

2 bell peppers (preferably one red and one yellow)
1 medium eggplant
1 small onion
Olive oil (about 1/2 cup or so)
Sherry vinegar
Bread, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Wash and dry the vegetables, rub them with olive oil, sprinkle them with a few pinches of salt, and wrap them in foil. Place on a baking sheet, and roast for 2 hours.

Remove from the oven and let cool.

Peel the skins off of the eggplant and the peppers. Slice the vegetables into 1/2- to 1-inch slices.

Add a pinch of salt, drizzle generously with oil, and add a splash of sherry vinegar — start with a teaspoon or two, taste, and adjust to your liking.

Serve with bread, cheese, meat, fish, eggs, or just eat them!

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer or part of a lunch.

Categories: Eggplant, Green Peppers, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment


Our Spanish Passover continues…

Lauren is home, so we needed a vegetarian dinner option and opted for a Quajado, an egg, cheese and vegetable dish. For tonight, we used zucchini, feta and cheddar. The combination was simply delicious. Salty, rich and slightly sweet.

To complete the dinner we added a Spanish spinach dish with pine nuts and raisins. The combination was served on my grandmother’s beautiful depression glass plates.


from Chabad

1 medium onion, diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

6 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

6 cups zucchini, grated and left to drain in a colander

1 cup creamy feta cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste


Sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft.

Squeeze any excess moisture out of the grated zucchini.

Combine zucchini, onions, eggs, parsley and cheeses. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feta cheese is extremely salty so it may not need any salt at all.

Spoon into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour, until set.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Serves 8.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Leave a comment

Our Spanish Seder

I decided to make an all-Spanish food Seder this year.

It started with a Spanish Sephardic Charoset with hazelnuts, pistachios, marcona almonds, walnuts, dates, pears, figs and apples. This made a fabulous Hillel sandwich with my home-made maror (horseradish)

The serious eating started with saffron sofrito matzoh ball soup. This was so good, it will likely become my go-to matzo ball soup recipe from now on.

For the main course…Chicken Marbella with prunes and olives (yum!)

And Albondigas (aka Spanish meatballs). Don’t let this blah photo fool you, these were outstanding, I just forgot to take a picture of them until they were almost all eaten. How could you go wrong with pine-nuts and cumin in the meat and cinnamon & honey in the sauce?

And for dessert: an orange flavored Spanish spongecake, Almondrado (Almond-lemon macaroons), and almond cake.

It was a true feast to share with our friends. But as my mother would say, the food was great, but what I like best was the company!

Categories: Passover, Recipe | Leave a comment

Creamy Sunchoke & Asparagus Soup

After many nights of heavy Passover foods, I was craving soup. Plus, I had stopped at one of our local orchards on my drive home from a client meeting and picked up some just-picked asparagus. Asparagus and my Jerusalem artichokes…a happy combo!

The soup looks rich and tastes rich, but is so light and healthy! Perfection!

Creamy Sunchoke and Asparagus Soup

Very slightly adapted from

1 pound fresh asparagus (from T.S. Smith & Sons)

1 large white potato, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice ~ 1 1/2 cups diced potato

1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice (from the garden)

2 large shallots, peeled and sliced

1/4 tsp Kosher salt

2 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

3 cups chicken stock 


Slice off the tips of the asparagus about 1 – 1 1/2 inches long and reserve. Trim the woody ends and discard. Cut the remaining spears into 1″ pieces and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and salt. Cook until the shallots soften and become translucent – do not brown the shallots.

Add the asparagus, potato and Jerusalem artichokes to the shallots. Add stock, cover and bring just to a boil. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring a cup of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by adding 1 cup of ice and 1 cup water into a bowl and set aside.

Add the asparagus tips to the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Use a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the asparagus tips from the boiling water to the ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking. Set aside until ready to serve.

When the vegetables are tender, use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. Season as necessary with the kosher salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and swirl a teaspoon of olive oil over each bowl. Divide the asparagus tips among the bowls and float them in the soup. Enjoy!

Serves 4.


Categories: Asparagus, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Soup, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Lemon-roasted Jerusalem Artichokes and Potatoes

Although I did a lot of cooking and baking for our Passover Seder, only one ingredient came from my garden (other than my dried herbs) –  my good ole Jerusalem artichokes.

Roasted with some baby yukon potatoes and lemon, it made a really tasty side dish.

I decided to go with roasted vegetables since I already was making a zucchini carrot kugel, so I did not need a second kugel.

This is a large recipe, makes enough for 12, but you can scale it down easily.

Lemon-roasted Jerusalem Artichokes and Potatoes

Adapted from Nigel Slater

3 lbs Jerusalem artichokes, cut into chunks (from the garden)

2.5 lbs baby yukon potatoes, halved or quartered, depending on their size

2 lemons

4 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Steam the Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes for about 10 minutes until tender.

While the roots are steaming heat the oven to 400F. Pour about 2 Tbsp of olive oil into each of 2 roasting pans and heat them in the oven.

Drain the vegetables and divide between the two roasting pans. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice  over the veg then toss the vegetables to coat them the oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for about 40 minutes til golden and slightly crunchy (I like to cook them longer to get them really crisp).

Serve and enjoy!

 Serves 10-12

Categories: Jerusalem Artichokes, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Salad Olivieh

I remember having Salad Olivieh in Iran in restaurants when we travelled into the center of the country.  When I asked my husband if he would like me to try making it, he jumped on the idea.  Unbeknownst to me, it is one of his favorites. So, the pressure was on.


As seems to be my approach these days with Persian foods, I looked up a variety of recipes, go a general sense of the commonalities and then created my own recipe, tweaking as I went along.  The result: a really good tasting chicken salad that even I (who normally does not like chicken  salad) really enjoyed! I didn’t exactly get the taste he was thinking of, but that was because I used leftover chicken from Chicken Marbella – which had its own distinct flavor. But it didn’t really matter, he fully enjoyed it.


It was a double treat for me, since it was Kosher for Passover!

Salad Olivieh

1 large potato (about 3/4 lb), peeled and diced

Just over 1/2 lb (9 oz) cooked, skinless chicken breast

1 cup frozen peas, thawed if from the grocery store, lightly cooked if fresh frozen(from Highland Orchards)

2 or 3 Persian (or Israeli) pickles

1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and diced (from Farmer Kim)

5 – 7 Tbs mayonnaise

3 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp dijon mustard

3 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt & Freshly ground black pepper


Place the potatoes in a microwave safe dish and add a little water (about 1/4 inch deep).  Cover and microwave for til tender, about 2 – 4 minutes, depending upon the size of your dice. Set aside.

Shred the chicken breast, then chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Dice the egg and pickles.

In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, chicken, peas, pickles and egg.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the mount of mayo to get the flavor and consistency to your taste.

Combine the dressing into the chicken mixture, mixing well. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours to let the flavors come together.

Serve as a sandwich, with bread, a baguette, pita, or matzoh!


Serves 6 – 8.

Categories: Passover, Persian, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Banana Maple Matzoh Brei

By the end of Passover I am always scrambling for some way to excite my family, and myself, about one more matzoh meal.  Last year, I saved Martha Stewart’s Banana Maple Matzoh Brei for the last lunch of Passover.


And what a treat is was! But be careful, our bananas were almost over-ripe so it was extremely sweet.  Err on the side of less maple syrup in the mixture and then add more as needed.  We also decided that toasted walnuts or pecans would be a great addition.  I may try that this year.



Ooh, I just had another thought, this could even be turned into an amazing ice cream sundae!

Banana Maple Matzoh Brei

Martha Stewart

3 matzos (broken into 2-inch pieces)

1 banana plus banana slices

1/4 cup pure maple syrup plus more for drizzling

1/4 cup vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon

1 large egg

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


Soak matzos in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander.


Mash banana with maple syrup using a fork.


Whisk in oil, egg, and salt.


Gently stir in matzos.


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Spread matzo mixture evenly in skillet, pressing gently.


Cook until underside is golden, about 4 minutes. Flip using a spatula (mixture will break up). Cook until underside is golden, about 5 minutes.


Transfer to plates. Top with banana slices, and drizzle with maple syrup.


Serves 2.

Categories: Breakfast, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Persian Haroset

First, I must apologize for not having my slew of photos for you.  I did not expect this experiment to turn out so well on the first shot.  The Haroset turned out so well, I had to quickly cover it and put it in the fridge to keep from eating it all now! SO I wanted to share it with you before Passover begins.

I made both Ashkenazic and Persian Harosets this year. Both are combinations of apples and nuts. The main differences are that the Ashkenazic version uses walnuts and adds in sweet wine while the Persian version adds walnuts, almonds and pistachios and includes dates, pear and is flavored with pomegranate. We shall see who prefers which at my Seders…

Persian Haroset 

1/2 cup almonds, roasted unsalted

1/2 cup walnuts, roasted unsalted 

1/3 cup pistachios, roasted, unsalted and shelled

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 cup dated, pitted and roughly chopped

1 large apple (Fuji), peeled, cored and roughly chopped

1 pear, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

1/3 cup pomegranate juice


Place the nuts, spices and salt in a food processor.  Pulse until roughly chopped.

Add the dates, apple and pear, pulse until chopped and mixed.

Add the pomegranate molasses and juice, pulse a few times until well mixed.  Do not puree the mixture, leave it with a little crunch or bite to it.


Makes about 3 – 4 cups.


Categories: Apples, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Microwave Potato Chips

While Cam and I were home on our spring “staycation”, I decided to try making a treat I had recently seen – microwave potato chips.  No matter how many times I heard that they tasted just like chips out of the bag, I was skeptical.  And my first few batches confirmed my skepticism – they were just not crisping up right.  I tried a variety of different recipes, then decided to follow my own instincts, and…wow! It was snacking time!


Is that a perfect chip or not?! They were crispy and full of flavor.  In fact, Cam took the bowl and basically threatened me if I ate any of “his” chips.  The best part – these are healthy (another plus – Kosher for Passover).

Microwave Potato Chips

1 russet potato (or as many as you want to make, a medium russet makes about 60 chips)

Bowl of cold water

Olive oil mister (if you do not have one use an olive oil cooking spray)

Kosher salt


Scrub the potato and slice very thin using a mandoline (I did about 1/16th inch thick). It works easiest if you cut the potato in half and slice one-half, place them in a bowl of cold water, then do the same with the other half.


Rinse the potatoes until the water runs clear, typically 3 water changes in the bowl.  Dry the potatoes using a salad spinner (or in a single layer between 2 clean dish towels).


Line a microwave dinner plate with paper towels.  Lay the potatoes out in 1 layer, not touching each other.  Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. One potato will take about 4 batches to make.


Microwave for 4 minutes. Flip and microwave for another 3 minutes – checking after 2 minutes to remove any chips that have crisped up and browned. Lay out on another plate to cool.




Categories: Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

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