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Make dishes for Seder in advance |

Make dishes for Seder in advance

| Sunday, March 28, 2004 12:00 a.m

Passover Seder brims with ceremony and tradition — the ritual Seder, the Seder plate, Elijah’s cup, the Haggadah (telling the story of the Israelites’ escape from slavery under the Egyptians) and kosher-for-Passover foods.

Faye Levy, a cookbook author and food writer, enjoys researching Passover recipes from different countries. Here she shares two make-ahead dishes for Seder meals.

The diced vegetable mixture can be made several hours ahead, making this a better choice for Seder than a green salad. Cut the vegetables in small dice, no larger than 1/2 inch. Add the salt just before serving so the vegetables don’t become watery.

Israeli Salad with Jicama

  • 1 long English cucumber
  • 8 to 10 plum tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, cut in small dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (red, white or yellow)
  • 2 cups diced peeled jicama
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Peel the cucumber, if desired, and cut into small dice. Mix the cucumber with the tomatoes, onion, jicama and parsley. Add the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings.

This savory kugel is accented with sauteed onions, mushrooms and paprika. To reheat, cover with foil and place in a 300-degree oven.

Cauliflower and Potato Kugel with Mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 pounds baking or boiling potatoes, unpeeled
  • Salt
  • 1 (2 to 2 1/4 pounds) large head cauliflower
  • Hot water, if needed
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, more for oiling pans
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 pound medium or small mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, divided
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with water to cover and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon, reserving the cooking liquid. Peel when cool enough to handle. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl.

Divide the cauliflower into medium florets. Cut the peel from the large stem and slice the stem. Return the potato cooking liquid to a boil and add the cauliflower. Add hot water to cover, if needed.

Simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes or until the stems are very tender. Drain the cauliflower well and cool. Puree in a food processor, leaving a few chunks. Add to the mashed potatoes.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute for 7 minutes over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon paprika and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms and onions are light brown.

Add the eggs and the matzo meal to the cauliflower mixture. Season well with salt and pepper. Lightly stir in the mushroom mixture and any oil in the pan.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Oil 2 shallow 8-inch square baking dishes. Fill each with half of the cauliflower mixture and smooth the top. Sprinkle each casserole with 1/2 tablespoon oil, then with 1/4 teaspoon paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until set. Serve hot or warm.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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