By Keri White
Passover lasts for eight days. Most people only do one, or maybe two seders, but if you strictly observe the holiday, that still leaves six chametz-free dinners to deliver.
Given that seders tend to be rather substantial, there may be an appetite for lighter fare on the remaining nights. In addition, cooks may crave a break after the effort it takes to host a seder. The following recipes are designed with that in mind.
Baked sweet potatoes with sauteed greens
The preparation here is simple, healthy and colorful. It can be a light meal on its own, or it can be a spectacular and substantial side dish.
I used the Swiss chard that is tinged with red — the rainbow, or regular green variety would work just fine, as would any other green such as kale, spinach, collards or escarole. Be sure to adjust the cooking time; spinach cooks quickly, while kale and collards need a longer time in the pan.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 scallion, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
Heat your oven to 350 F. Prick the sweet potatoes, place them on foil or a baking tray to catch the drippings and place them in the oven. Bake for about 45-60 minutes until they are completely soft.
When the sweet potatoes are almost done, heat the oil in a skillet and saute the scallions with salt and pepper until fragrant. Add the Swiss chard and cook, stirring frequently, until done, about 6 minutes. Slice the sweet potatoes in half, and spoon the cooked greens onto the cut sides of the sweet potatoes, mashing slightly to mix. Serve immediately.
I discovered this method for cooking eggs years ago. It has a lot going for it, with no added fat, a fluffy, soft texture, quick cooking and minimal mess.
The downside is that it does not lend itself to a large batch, but in these times of small gatherings, a dinner a deux is more likely what is required. I generally drain the eggs in a strainer or large slotted spoon, then give them a couple of dabs with paper towels to absorb the additional wetness, but if this doesn’t bother you, just lift them out of the pan with a slotted spoon and plate them.
- 4 eggs
- Pinches of salt and pepper
Fill a medium-sized saucepan two-thirds of the way with water, add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them vigorously until they get fluffy. Add salt and pepper.
When the water boils, pour the eggs carefully into the pan and cover them. Cook for 1 minute. When the eggs are done, remove them from the pan, either with a large slotted spoon or by pouring them through a strainer. Season as desired, and serve immediately.
Cream of whatever soup
This soup offers a basic preparation for any vegetable(s) you have on hand. It can be used for everything from asparagus to zucchini, broccoli, butternut squash, carrot, cauliflower, potato or a combination thereof.
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups chopped vegetables, either a single variety or a mishmash
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup milk, cream, half-and-half or ½ cup yogurt or sour cream
In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the onions with salt and pepper until fragrant. Add the vegetables and saute until they are coated and shiny. Add the broth, bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Note: Things like asparagus and tomatoes will cook faster than potatoes and butternut squash; use a fork over a timer to decide when soup is done. If desired, puree the soup; if not desired, don’t.
Before serving, add milk, cream, half-and-half, yogurt or sour cream, if desired.