Pesach Recipes Get a Flavorful Upgrade


Perfectly PareveEileen Goltz, author of Perfectly Pareve ~ The phrase “nothing new under the sun” could certainly apply to Passover recipes. Matzah this and farfel that and oh yeah, the flourless chocolate cake, gotta have the flourless chocolate cake and the macaroons. Seems like everyone has the same recipes and they serve them year after year after year after year. Some call it tradition. I call it boring. While I don’t want to cook any more than I already have to, the following recipes are different enough that they might make you think about bringing something new to the table …

Super Duper Olive Spread or Dip (pareve)

It goes great with matzah crackers, veggies or chips. I also use it as a spread on matzah rolls.

  • 2 (16 oz.) cans pitted black olives, drained
  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley

Put the olives and pine nuts in a blender. Add the garlic and start processing. Pour in the olive oil as the processor starts. Don’t over process, just enough to bind everything together. Add the parsley and mix to combine. Great as a spread or dip. Serves four to six.

Winter Squash With Apricot Stuffing (pareve)

  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 cups uncooked matzah farfel or 4 whole matzah, crumbled
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (complete with leaves if possible)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 11/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 acorn squash (butternut, cut in half and de-seeded, or small winter squash)

Preheat oven to 375. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add farfel, onion, celery, and garlic and sauté for six minutes or until very soft.

Add the stock, apricots, and cashews and simmer for 12 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Stir in parsley and pepper.

Place squash, cut side down on a baking sheet or shallow casserole. Add water to cover 1 inch of the squash. Spray squash skin lightly with vegetable oil.

Bake for 20 minutes, until halfway cooked (still fairly tough). This can be done in a microwave also, cooking on high for 10-12 minutes.

Remove squash from oven, turn upright and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Fill each squash half with stuffing. Bake for 50 minutes or until squash is soft (easily pierced with a knife).

Pesach Mushroom Schnitzel (pareve)

These are good for lunch, as a snack or as breakfast on a matzah. I usually make a bunch and freeze them.

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup scallions, minced, including some green tops
  • 1 cup onions, minced
  • 11/2 lbs mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, minced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup matzah meal
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Fry scallions and onions 3-4 minutes until soft. Add mushrooms and garlic. Sauté over medium high heat 10-15 minutes, until liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool. Stir in the parsley and eggs.

Gradually add the matzah meal to the mixture until the mixture has enough body to hold together during frying. You can add another tablespoon or two of matzah meal if necessary.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet. Form each schnitzel patty by placing one heaping tablespoon of the mushroom mixture in the hot oil and press with back of a wooden spoon to a 3-inch disc. Fry for three to four minutes per side until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Serves four. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Braised Lamb Shanks in Orange Sauce (pictured above)

This requires at least several hours for the marinate to infuse the lamb.

  • 2-4 lamb shanks
  • 2 tsp. basil, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. oregano, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. rosemary, finely minced
  • 1 cup orange juice (can use the juice of 2 oranges)
  • 1 whole orange, zest of
  • 21/2 cups merlot
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth, can use water

Combine the basil, oregano, rosemary, orange juice, orange zest, Merlot and garlic and pour over the rinsed lamb shanks in a wide glass dish. Shanks should be in a single layer. Turn the shanks to coat and cover.

Marinate two hours at room temperature, turning the meat every half hour or marinate in the refrigerator, turning meat occasionally. Remove the shanks from the marinade and dry them with paper towels. Reserve the marinade. Preheat the oven to 450.

Season the lamb with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat for 20 seconds. Add the olive oil and heat for 10 seconds, then lower the heat to medium-high and add the lamb shanks.

Cook each side for approximately two minutes until browned on all sides.

Place shanks in a single layer in a casserole dish and pour the chicken stock into the hot pan. Scrape up any meat particles, add them to the reserved marinade and pour over the shanks in the casserole and cover with a lid (use foil if no lid).

Put casserole in the preheated oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350. The hot oven will sear the meat initially, but the mixture needs to cook at a lower temperature or the meat will toughen.

Roast for 45 minutes, then baste and cook for another hour to 90 minutes or until the meat is very tender and easily pulls away from the bone. If the liquid has reduced greatly, add 1/2 cup of water to the pan.

Remove the shanks to a serving platter and keep warm. If the gravy is too watery, boil the liquid down five to 10 minutes, or until it is the consistency of tomato sauce.

Drizzle some of the sauce over the shanks and serve. Serves two. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Honey Almond Cake (pareve)

This dessert will remind you of baklava.


  • 1 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


  • 2 cups almonds
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup matzah cake meal
  • 1 cup matzah meal
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel

Make syrup: In a saucepan, combine the honey, water, sugar and lemon juice. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil one minute. Cool.

Make cake: Preheat oven to 350. Oil 13-X-9-X-2-inch metal baking pan.

Finely grind almonds and 1/2 cup sugar in processor; transfer to medium bowl.

Whisk in matzah cake meal, matzah meal, cinnamon and allspice. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and remaining 11/2 cups sugar in large bowl until very thick and pale in color, about 10 minutes.

Beat in oil and lemon peel. Fold in almond mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cut hot cake into 32 squares; leave in pan. Drizzle cooled syrup over.

Let stand until syrup is absorbed, at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. This can be made two days ahead.

Cool, cover and store at room temperature. Serves eight to 10.

Enjoy more of Eileen’s recipes in her cookbook Perfectly Pareve

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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