A few weeks ago, I was clicking through posts on Cara’s Cravings and found her Passover Series. Her recipes inspire me on a daily basis and I was excited to see she had a nice collection of Passover recipes. Passover begins Monday evening and I hadn’t begun to prepare. The next thing I knew, Cara had invited some local food bloggers to her home to participate in a Seder Challenge. I was excited for two reasons: I love getting together with other bloggers and tasting their recipes, and I was excited to finally meet Cara! We recently discovered we graduated from the same high school, we both had Liz’s mom as our chemistry teacher, and I knew the food would be great because everyone attending the seder is known to blog about great food.
Cara challenged us to get inspired by the items on the seder plate and incorporate our chosen item into our dish. The items found on the seder plate are charoset, to represent mortar the Jews used to build, bitter herbs (horse radish) to represent the bitterness of slavery, a green vegetable to represent spring, salt water to represent slaves’ tears, an egg to represent life, and a lamb shank bone to represent the sacrificial offering.
We placed our take of the seder plate foods on Cara’s seder plate.
I love the look of this plate with our modern foods in the place of traditional ones. Only a few bloggers at the seder were Jewish, and we taught the others about the seder plate and about Passover. We also shared our recipes and techniques as we put finishing touches on dishes in Cara’s big kitchen and sat around the dining table.
Inspired by the shank bone, Cara prepared lamb and eggplant crepes. Everyone loved the lamb, and I was intrigued by the Passover crepe. I’ve never had a Passover crepe and I believe they would be a fun addition to a Passover weekend breakfast, filled with strawberries and whipped cream, or eggs and potatoes.
Megan prepared deviled eggs instead of the traditional hard-boiled egg you see on a seder plate. Jen made an apple slaw, a take on traditional charoset. Renee made traditional charoset and brought matzah crackers and horse radish.
Amanda made matzah crusted asparagus with hollandaise sauce; we counted this as a green vegetable and as an egg dish.
Elina made a massaged kale salad with roasted beets, prunes, walnuts, and goat cheese. I made cauliflower horseradish cakes.
We drank Manischewitz wine and loaded up our plates. Everything was so delicious! I’m still thinking about Elina’s salad, wondering why I don’t eat more kale, and wondering why people (my family) give me a hard time when I do want to eat kale. I think I’ll start eating more kale!
For dessert, Cara made almond butter merengues dipped in chocolate.
The truffles were really creative; she mixed wasabi with white chocolate and coated it around a bit of ginger.
I love wasabi with my sushi, but never thought to mix it with something sweet. I was hesitant to bite into the truffle, worrying it would be too strong for me. The flavor was actually perfectly delicate. I could taste the white chocolate, wasabi, and ginger flavors and they complemented each other quite well.
Cara was so generous to host us all in her home and I had a wonderful afternoon chatting with everyone! Plus, the Seder Challenge gave me the opportunity to try cauliflower horseradish cakes for my first time. My mom makes these every Passover, usually for a family lunch, but I’d never made them myself. I asked her to send me the recipe and she said she was excited to see how I’d change it, because I change most recipes I use. The cauliflower cakes never stick together, so I knew I would need to edit the recipe to make it more visually presentable to the bloggers. The recipe says to steam and mash the cauliflower, but I kept steaming and steaming and it didn’t reach a mashable consistency quickly enough. Instead, I put the cauliflower in my food processor. That worked much better. Here’s the recipe I used.
Cauliflower Horseradish Cakes for Passover
1 head of cauliflower
6 T horseradish (original recipe says 2 T but I kept adding more because it wasn’t strong enough for me – add however much you like!)
1 cup cake meal
3 egg whites
6 scallions, finely chopped (I really don’t know how many I used and I kept adding more until the batter was evenly scattered with green)
Cut cauliflower into sections. Place a few sections in a microwave safe bowl, fill half way with water, and microwave about 10 minutes until soft. Repeat with all of the cauliflower until the whole head is steamed. Put the head through a food processor, sections at a time, until cauliflower resembles a fluffy consistency. Put processed cauliflower in a large bowl. Add horseradish, cake meal, egg whites, and scallions. Mix together. Add more scallions as desired; add more cake meal if the batter is moist. The mixture should resemble mashed potatoes. Heat a pan with olive oil. Form batter into small patty shapes and drop in hot oil. Fry on each side for about four minutes, until lightly browned. Place paper towels over a baking rack. Scoop patties onto paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve with more horseradish if desired.
For Passover, I try to eat foods that don’t necessarily contain Passover ingredients, such as matzah. The cake meal in my patties is a Passover ingredient, but it doesn’t taste like most Passover foods taste. I try to eat a lot of eggs and yogurt rather than fill up on matzah and matzah products. It’s also good motivation for me to eat more fruits and vegetables. I think I’ll make a frittata and a big salad for lunches during Passover. My mom makes Passover blueberry muffins, blintze muffins, and rolls. The rolls are great when I’m craving a slice of bread. Passover is the one time a year I buy cream cheese – for no particular reason. I have nothing against cream cheese, I just never buy it. But, on Passover, Temp Tee whipped cream cheese is my favorite!
I’d love to hear your favorite Passover recipes!