Happy Passover

Here is a timely post about Passover from my friend Vivi. She actually wrote it last year but I messed up our communication so it waited patiently for the calendar to cycle back around. I will now turn the floor over to her to share two recipes — broccoli potato knish and flourless chocolate torte.

Vivi here: Last year we needed an extra vegetable for the table. We decided to be adventurous and find a new way to do broccoli. Vegetable choices are a bit more limited during Passover — legumes are out for Ashkenazi Jews like my family. (Sephardic Jews will eat them). So, that means no green beans, peas or lima beans. We already had asparagus. 

Broccoli is not my favorite, but what if it was crusted in potato knish? Google yielded this gem:


   * 1 cup mashed potatoes
   * 1/3 cup matzah meal
   * 2 tbsp potato starch
   * 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
   * 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup Passover egg substitute
   * 1/2 tsp black pepper
   * 1/4 tsp salt
   * 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli, steamed and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl combine the potatoes, matzah meal, potato starch, onion, egg
whites, pepper and salt and knead together. Divide the dough into 6
balls and flatten each. Divide the broccoli evenly onto each circle,
fold over, and press edges to seal.

Generously coat a baking sheet with the cooking spray. Arrange the
knishes in a single layer and place the baking sheet on the bottom
rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

I took some matzo meal, mashed potatoes and potato starch (no corn starch on Passover because corn is out). My mom cut — finely diced — an onion and we added it to the dough. Here's what it looked like:

We flattened dough balls, stuffed the knishes — to temper the broccoli taste, I added some spinach — and baked. People seemed to enjoy! One thing I would do next time is add some other filler to the inside. More salt or maybe egg and cheese. Yum.

One of my favorite parts of the seder is getting to cook with my family (From left, Vivi pictured with her sisters Debbie and Melissa). Every year we make a flourless chocolate torte. We first started this tradition five years ago with the recipe in Joan Nathan's "Jewish Cooking in America" (Fabulous, fabulous annotated cookbook. My other favorite FAVORITE recipe in there that is also kosher for Passover is chicken breast stuffed with shiitake mushrooms and sundried tomatoes).

No offense to Joan but I didn't love the grittiness that almond flour gives a chocolate torte. So we've been using this "Joy of Baking" version instead, which just relies on whipped eggs to give the batter some body. (One year I did this by fork!!! Lucky to have a whisk this year, but sadly no electric hand mixer. Part of making your house
kosher for Passover requires putting away everything that has touched any flour all year ... bye bye mixer).

Be careful with the springform pan when you take it out of the oven!! My mom had a mishap two years ago at the seder and we ended up with chocolate torte all over the kitchen floor. It was a really sad day. Good thing that there are two seders a year. We all watched her very closely the next year. If you take it out of the oven a little early, it's even more delicious.

Thanks Christina for letting me take over your blog for a day. Happy Easter, happy Passover, happy Spring, and happy cooking to all!

No, thank you Vivi! Happy Passover to you!


  1. Love everything about this post! Especially the shot of the girls and the story about their mom's unfortunate torte accident. (Chocolate abuse!!) Thank you for the recipes! :)

  2. ha! yes it was a sad day at the Abrams home, we even thought about eating the part that had not touched the floor.

    Thanks Christina for letting me guest blog!