Passover Cookery

Passover Cookery

Passover Cookery By Joan Kekst
Quality Paperback, 167 Pages

5 Star Publications

Review by Cheri Sicard

Click to Order Online

I canÂ’t speak highly enough of Passover Cookery by Joan Kekst. After reading this comprehensive reference, even complete beginners can confidently host their first Seder. More experienced cooks will find lots of wonderful new recipes to add variety to their holiday feast.

This book is about much more than Passover recipes, although to be sure, there are lots of these. Each page is infused with JoanÂ’s passion for family and tradition. The guide also encompasses Passover traditions and symbols, the Seder table, a shopping guide and JoanÂ’s personal notes on each of the recipes. The innovative "six-week Countdown to Passover" feature will help busy families not only get organized and prepare for the holiday, but come away with a deeper, more memorable experience.

Recipes range from simple and easy to sophisticated, although in all cases instructions are clear and simple enough to be within the reach of cooks of all experience levels. There are also low fat and low cholesterol offerings. I canÂ’t think of a better gift for someone preparing their first Seder.

Recipes From Joan Kekst

Spinach Moussaka -- Pareve or Dairy option

4 matzo slices

1 1/4 lb. fresh spinach, stems removed

OR 2 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen spinach

1 medium onion

2 garlic cloves, chopped

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 lb. chopped mushrooms

2 tablespoons almonds, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon feathery dill leaves, minced

2 tablespoons matzo meal

2 eggs plus one egg white

1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes

grated nutmeg

Serves 6 as a main course

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a 9-inch square pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Briefly dip matzo slices in water to soften. Drain on paper towels. Fit 2 matzo slices on bottom of pan.

Thoroughly drain frozen spinach or wash fresh spinach, remove stems. Cook fresh spinach in salted water for 2 minutes, drain and chop.

Sauté onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil until golden, add the mushrooms. Cook until mushroom juices evaporate. Season with salt and pepper, add the spinach, lemon juice and almonds, remove from heat. Cool.

Lightly beat 2 eggs with a pinch of salt, stir into spinach mixture. Adjust flavor and add dill and a bit of matzo meal if needed. Brush matzo in pan with oil and spread with potatoes. Top with the spinach mixture, cover with remaining matzo and brush with oil.

Beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon oil, add nutmeg and brush on matzo. Bake 50 minutes, baste with remaining egg white and grated nutmeg several times. Bake until top is lightly browned.

OPTIONS: Add 1 cup ricotta cheese to the spinach mixture for a hearty dairy meal during Passover, if desired.

Passover Jellyroll -- Pareve


4 eggs, room temperature, separated

3/4 C extra fine sugar, divided

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

5 tablespoons potato starch

pinch of salt

Passover confectioner's sugar

Apricot Filling:

12 oz. dried apricots, chopped

1 3/4 C water

3 strips orange zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 C sugar

2 tablespoons Passover orange liqueur or white wine


6 large whole apricots for garnish

1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 10 by 15-inch jellyroll pan. Line with parchment paper, allow ends to overhang 1 inch.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat one whole egg and 3 yolks until thick and color lightens. Gradually add all but 2 tablespoons sugar, the lemon juice and zest. Sift potato starch over mixture and incorporate with a rubber scraper.

In another large clean bowl, with clean beaters, beat 3 egg whites until foamy on medium low speed. Add a pinch of salt, gradually increase speed, add 2 T sugar, beat until shiny and stiff. Fold whites into yolk mixture in three additions. Spread the batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes. Cake will spring back when lightly touched. Spread a towel on the counter and lightly sift with Passover confectioner's sugar. Turn cake onto towel, remove paper, gently roll up cake in towel and cool. May be chilled to fill later. Fill with purchased Passover pudding or apricot filling. Dust with Passover confectioner's sugar. Garnish with chocolate dipped apricots.

Apricot Filling (Pareve, low choleserol)

In a medium pan, combine diced apricots, water, lemon juice and orange zest. Bring to a simmer, cover. Cook 20 minutes until water is reduced to half and apricots are soft. Stir in sugar, cook on low, uncovered to thicken mixture and evaporate liquid.

About the author

Cheri Sicard is the editor of, a food and cooking site which specializes in Holidays and Entertaining. Stop by for some recipes or to sign up for on of their seven free cooking newsletters.


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