Try Extra Virgin Olive Oil...Recipes
by Guest Columnist Chef Laura Frankel
While I understand why people feel the need to rely on these kosher–for–Passover products, I am writing this to tell you, you don’t have to! Artificial ingredients are often not good for you, and many of their more wholesome natural counterparts are kosher for Passover. I feed my family and friends only the best ingredients. I don’t mess around with faux foods created in laboratories. I am only going for the real thing.
My Passover philosophy is this: If I wouldn’t eat it during the rest of the year, I’m not going to eat it during Pesach. I would much rather truly mark this time as one separate and different from the rest of the year, and go eight days without cake, brownies, and pie than use matzo meal and non-dairy whipped cream topping that have that PESADICH taste. But, different doesn’t have to mean Spartan. Instead, try something new.
All extra virgin olive oils are kosher for Passover and year round, even without kosher supervision. How awesome is that? We may give up our breads and cakes for eight days, but we will emerge from the holiday having feasted on foods made with delicious and healthy extra virgin olive oil. You cannot say that about Passover cooking oil which tends to be harsh and bitter and not healthy like extra virgin olive oil. How much cooking time and how many ingredients do you need to cover up the taste of bad oil?
Because all extra virgin olive oils are kosher for Passover and year round, make sure you purchase a great oil. The oil should have a low acidity, be from a single farm or estate and should have been pressed with a few days of harvest. Many great oils will state their techniques on the label and will state that the oil was pressed on the day of harvest.
A great extra virgin olive oil may cost a bit more than mediocre oil, but remember, the people you are cooking for are family and friends and are worth the health benefits and deliciousness of a great meal.
Bourride (Mediterranean fish stew), made with homemade Fish Stock (Fumet de Poisson) and garnished with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Aioli, is an amazing entrée or starter for the Seder or Chol Hamoed days. Just in case you have extra fish stock left over, I have even included a recipe for homemade Gefilte Fish.
Passover Tapas – Breakfasts during Passover can be a little iffy. Without grains, the options are limited and I often want a do-ahead type of breakfast as so many meals are high maintenance. At least one or two meals should practically serve themselves. My favorite do-ahead breakfast/lunch dish is the Spanish Tortilla Espanola. The national dish of Spain is hearty, delicious and low maintenance.
Springtime–Roman Style–Fritto Misto or Mixed Fry, is a perfect way to celebrate spring and Passover. Instead of looking for creative uses of matzo meal, I am looking for ways to utilize produce and bring the flavors of spring to my table.The famous Carciofi alla Giudia or Jewish Style Artichokes are an ancient spring/summer treat. The crispy brown leaves and tender heart are addictive and are a perfect way to welcome the spring. And of course, Fried Zucchini, served with Garlicky-Lemon Aioli is also a favorite.
Olive oil is an ingredient in my favorite chocolate mousse recipe – Chocolate Mousse with Extra Virgin Olive Oil – it ROCKS and is perfect for the holidays. I even use it as a filling for Passover French Macarons.
The smart money, when purchasing food for the holiday, is to spend it on healthy and wholesome products. The fact that extra virgin olive oil can be used all year round makes this a no brainer.
About the Author
Chef Laura Frankel is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies in Chicago. She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. Frankel is an avid farmer’s market supporter, giving demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce. Frankel is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. She has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens and has run restaurants in Chicago and New York. Before committing herself to her culinary passion, she played and taught both alto and baritone saxophones professionally. LaurasKosherKitchen.com