Exotic Passover recipes

By Tina Wasserman
Persian Kuku is like a frittata that, when cut into little squares and served at room temperature, makes a perfect nosh during the Seder after you dip the Karpas in salt water and before you get to the meal. Hint: It keeps young and old participants from wanting to race through the Haggadah. There might even be time for Rabbi Tarfon.
Persian Cauliflower
and Raisin Kuku
20-ounce bag frozen cauliflower (½ head of large cauliflower)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
2 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped or put through garlic press
5 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper, about 15 turns of a pepper mill
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons dark raisins
1. If cauliflower is fresh, then chop into small pieces; if frozen, then defrost and drain in a strainer.
2. Heat a large skillet on high for 15 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons oil and heat for 10 seconds more. Lower heat to medium. Add cauliflower, onions and salt to pan, stir to combine, cover pan, and then cook for 3 minutes.
3. Uncover pan and sauté until cauliflower is soft and onions are light golden brown. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Do not burn garlic.
3. Transfer cauliflower/onion mixture to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until cauliflower becomes a coarse puree. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11×7 baking dish or 10-inch Pyrex pie plate with the additional 2 tablespoons oil.
5. Using a fork, combine the eggs, pepper, turmeric, cumin and raisins in a 1-quart bowl. Add to the cauliflower and mix to thoroughly combine.
6. Pour egg mixture into oiled dish and bake on the center shelf of the oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden and eggs are cooked in the center. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
NOTE: Cut the cooled kuku into 1-inch squares and place on a plate with toothpicks for bite-sized snacks or appetizers.
Serves 4-6 for a meal or 12+ as an appetizer.
This is my signature Passover dessert. Debby Stahl’s German mother-in-law gave the two of us this recipe over 35 years ago. Many students have told me that their families love this so much, they make it year-round.
Spanish Jews were the first to use ground nuts in place of some or all of the flour to make their tortes, especially for Pesach when flour was prohibited.
Passover Linzer Torte
½ cup cake meal
½ cup potato starch
1 cup unsalted parve kosher for Passover margarine or butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup unpeeled finely ground hazelnuts, almonds or a combination
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
½ cup kosher for Passover strawberry jam
1. Combine the cake meal and the potato starch in a processor work bowl. Using the cutting blade, add the margarine and pulse on and off until the mixture is well combined.
2. Add the sugar, hazelnuts or nut mixture, cinnamon and egg yolks and mix until smooth and well blended.
3. Take 2/3 of the dough and press over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Leave a 1-inch-wide rim of dough around the top.
4. Spread with ½ cup or more of strawberry jam.
5. Gently squeeze egg-sized balls of remaining dough between your fingertips over the top of the jam to simulate weaving ropes for the lattice top. This dough cannot easily be handled, but don’t worry; the ropes don’t have to be perfect because they become smooth during baking.
6. Fasten the dough rope to the rim of dough and smooth it out with your fingertip, pressing lightly.
7. Beat egg whites slightly and brush over the top of the lattice. As you brush, the ropes will get smoother and more uniform.
8. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet that has very low sides and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
9. Partly cool before removing the rim of the pan. Do not attempt to remove the base of the pan. Serve the cake from the base.

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