The New York Times Passover Cookbook: More than 200 Holiday Recipes from Top Chefs and Writers


The classic book that has inspired Passover Seders for more than a decade

From the paper of culinary record comes a delicious trove of more than 200 recipes that celebrate the festivity of the Passover table. Compiled from decades of Times articles, The New York Times Passover Cookbook represents Jewish cuisine from tables and restaurants around the world—six kinds of haroseth, for example, and seven versions of matzoh balls.

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The classic book that has inspired Passover Seders for more than a decade

From the paper of culinary record comes a delicious trove of more than 200 recipes that celebrate the festivity of the Passover table. Compiled from decades of Times articles, The New York Times Passover Cookbook represents Jewish cuisine from tables and restaurants around the world—six kinds of haroseth, for example, and seven versions of matzoh balls.

There are cherished traditional family recipes passed along for generations, as well as innovative kosher dishes to enhance your table not just at Passover, but throughout the year, from such celebrated chefs as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Charlie Trotter, Wolfgang Puck, and Alice Waters. A special feature, the personal reflections of acclaimed Times writers Molly O'Neill, Ruth Reichl, and Mimi Sheraton about how Passover has enriched their lives, may become meaningful additions to your own Seder service.

Dozens of delectable main-course choices for either meat or dairy meals are yours to enjoy—entrees like Jean-Georges' Baked Salmon with Basil Oil; or the Braised Moroccan-Style Lamb with Almonds, Prunes, and Dried Apricots; or a variety of roast chickens, classic and contemporary. For vegetables, consider the abundant selection of memorable side dishes: Carrot and Apple Tsimmes, Beet Crisps, Butternut Squash Ratatouille, and the Union Square Cafe's Matzoh Meal Polenta. And the book's dazzling array of desserts, from Gingered Figs to Passover Brownies, ensures that the festivities will end on a sweet note.

The Seder is one of the most beloved and significant occasions of the Jewish year—let The New York Times Passover Cookbook help you make it as joyous as can be.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Food plays the starring role in the celebration of the Passover holiday, with the seder and its traditional symbolic dishes at the center of the yearly ritual. For many home cooks, following the strict dietary restrictions of this special time of year highlights the meaning and weight of the occasion in a rewarding way, but it can also add to the challenge of preparing a delicious meal for friends and family, since staples like yeast, grains, and beans are forbidden. Which is why it's no surprise that each year when The New York Times publishes a clutch of Passover recipes in its celebrated food section, the response from grateful cooks is always overwhelming. Now the best of those recipes from across the decades have been collected in one impressive volume destined to be a rich source of inspiration for years to come.

Filled with recipes from the Times's own respected food writers, both current and past, including Mimi Sheraton, Molly O'Neill, Marian Burros, and Craig Claiborne, The New York Times Passover Cookbook also contains creative kosher recipes from chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Mark Straussman, and Joyce Goldstein, among others. Wolfgang Puck, for instance, contributes a suave version of gefilte fish (one of 11 recipes for this indispensable holiday dish included) that involves tarragon-flecked fish dumplings poached in wrappers of green cabbage leaves and garnished with julienned leeks and carrots. More traditional fare can also be found, from archetypal chicken soup to a classic recipe for pot roast and several variations on roast chicken,butsome of the most interesting draw on international flavors — among the eight recipes for haroseth, for example, are versions from Egypt, Italy, Surinam, and Yemen. Passover desserts can be a particular challenge, as flour is not used, but from Hungarian Hazelnut Torte with Hazelnut Icing to Dried Apricot Mousse, there are a number of creative and appealing recipes here. Other nice touches: essays from writers including Ruth Reichl, Mimi Sheraton, and Molly O'Neill on the meaning of Passover; recipe notations indicating dairy, meat, or pareve; and a chapter on kosher wines. This is one book not to be without when it comes time to plan the seder menu.

Rebecca A. Staffel
“The New York Times Passover Cookbook is an excellent, comprehensive sourcebook for the Passover meal.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Passover is celebrated at the table with ritual words and food; this serious new collection does justice to both. And as Amster, a regular contributor to the New York Times food pages, points out, there's another tradition associated with Passover. Every year, home cooks eagerly await recipes, conforming with the holiday's dietary restrictions, published in the Times. The 175 recipes reprinted from cookbooks by the paper's well-known food writers, as well as by celebrated chefs, range from the traditional to the innovative and are drawn from European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern traditions. Anne Rosenzwieg offers a haroseth recipe that uses rhubarb. The section on gefilte fish includes Wolfgang Puck's variation, served in cabbage leaves, and Barbara Kafka's version, prepared in the microwave. In addition, Amster imparts seven ways to roast a chicken, including Chicken Breasts with Green Olives and Tomatoes. Paul Prudhomme serves up his Veal Roast with Mango Sauce, a dish he prepared in Jerusalem in honor of the city's 3000th anniversary. Nathan's knowledgeable foreword describes dietary restrictions and offers definitions and explanations of the symbolism behind the food. Taken together, Amster has produced what may be the definitive word in Passover cookbooks, from recipes to the feelings evoked by sitting at a beautifully set, bountifully laden table.
Library Journal
With more than eight recipes for haroseth alone, The New York Times Passover Cookbook will be invaluable for anyone who hosts a Passover seder — or even takes a dish to one. Amster has put together an impressive and delicious collection of recipes from the Times food section and from cookbooks by three of its well-known writers: Craig Claiborne, Mimi Sheraton, and Molly O'Neill. Chapters are organized by course or special dish, and there are moving reminiscences of special Passover seders, as well as a good general introduction by Joan Nathan, an authority on Jewish cooking. Recipes range from the traditional to the contemporary, with dishes from chefs such as Wolfgang Puck alongside family recipes passed down for generations. Highly recommended. Cooking teacher and author Zeidler offers an appealing collection of simple but sophisticated kosher recipes, with a few more complicated holiday dishes she couldn't bear to leave out. Some are adaptations of top chefs' recipes, such as Alain Ducasse's Fennel "Caviar"; others were inspired by Zeidler's yearly sojourns in Italy. There's no reason that the audience for Zeidler's latest book should be limited to kosher cooks; her Gourmet Jewish Cook (LJ 9/15/88) has been a staple for years. For most collections.
— Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA
— Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA
— Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA
— Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA
— Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA
— Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688155902
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 368,338
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Amster is the editor of The New York Times Jewish Cookbook, The New York Times Chicken Cookbook, and The New York Times Country Weekend Cookbook, as well as coeditor of Kill Duck Before Serving, a collection of some of The Times' most notable corrections. She is the former director of The Times' News Research department and has contributed articles to many sections of the paper, including the "Food Chain" column in the Dining In/Dining Out section and the "Weekly News Quiz" in the Saturday edition. She lives in Manhattan.

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Read an Excerpt

Classic Gefilte Fish

Makes 24 pieces, about 12 servings

Homemade gefilte fish is the pride of many Jewish cooks—particularly those of Eastern European heritage. This version is from food columnist Florence Fabricant, whose authoritative articles and recipes are an essential part of The Times's Dining section.

3 pounds fish fillets, preferably 1 pound each, such as whitefish, pike and carp, cut in 1-inch squares
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/3 cup matzoh meal
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 quart Fish Stock
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
Prepared horseradish

1. In a food processor, grind the fish, but not too finely. This should be done in two batches, about 24 pulses each. In a bowl, mix the fish with the onion, garlic, parsley, matzoh meal, lemon juice, wine or water and eggs and egg whites. Season with salt and pepper. Do not underseason. The best way to check the seasonings is to poach a small amount of the mixture in simmering water and taste.

2. In a large pan, bring the stock to a simmer.

3. Keeping your hands wet with cold water, form the fish mixture into oval patties about 3 inches long. Slip as many as will fit comfortably into the pan, and poach for 30 minutes. Remove and drain, and continue poaching the rest. When all the fish is cooked, transfer it to a bowl or serving dish. Add the carrot slices to the stock and simmer 10 minutes. Remove themwith a slotted spoon and scatter them over the fish. Refrigerate.

4.Boil down the cooking liquid until it is reduced to about 3 cups. Strain through a fine strainer. Spoon some over the cooled fish. Refrigerate the rest. It should jell. Skim the fat off the surface.

5. Serve the fish cold with horseradish and jellied broth on the side.

Carol Wolk's Prize-Winning Matzoh Balls

Makes 18 large matzoh balls

This recipe won the grand prize in 1988 at the first Matzoh Bowl, a contest held by the Stage Delicatessen in Manhattan. If you're sensitive to salt, you may want to reduce the quantity to 1 tablespoon or less.

8 cups plus 1 tablespoon chicken broth
1 1/4 cups matzoh meal
5 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon vodka
2 tablespoons club soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Place the 8 cups chicken broth in a deep pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the matzoh meal and eggs. Add the salt, vodka, club soda, remaining 1 tablespoon chicken broth and vegetable oil. Mix well. Put in the freezer for 45 minutes.

2. Use 2 tablespoons to form matzoh balls that are about 2 inches in diameter. When the broth is hot but not yet boiling, use a slotted spoon to place each ball into the soup. Cover the pot, cook for 40 minutes and serve.

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Anne Rosenzweig's Haroseth (pareve)
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Anne Rosenzweig, one of New York City's outstanding restaurateurs, created a version of haroseth that says reminds her "not only of slavery and freedom in Egypt, but also of spring in the United States. That's why I added rhubarb."

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup diced rhubarb (see Note)
1 cup Reisling or other off-dry white wine
1 cup toasted pecans (see Note)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup diced jícama
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch cayenne pepper

1. In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the rhubarb, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until soft but still crunchy. Drain and cool.

2. In another saucepan, cook the wine over high heat until it is reduced to 1/4 cup. In a food processor, combine the reduced wine, pecans, apple, jícama, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and rhubarb, and pulse 2 or 3 times. Remove tobowl. If desired, add a little more sugar.

NOTE: To toast nuts, preheat oven to 450°F. Place nuts on a cookie sheet on the middle rack and toast for 4 to 5 minutes. Shake pan occasionally and watch nuts to make sure they don't burn. Remove nuts from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

NOTE: When buying rhubarb look for firm, shiny stalks. Take care to trim off any leaves because they contain high concentrations of oxalic acid, which can be toxic. Do not remove the strings from the stalks because they hold most of the color and will dissolve during cooking.

Braised Moroccan-Style Lamb with Almonds, Prunes, and Dried Apricots (meat)
Adapted from Adventures in the Kitchen
Makes 8 servings

In this recipe, Wolfgang Puck combines almonds, dried prunes, and apricots with lamb to create an extremely festive and tasty dish.

1 boned and trimmed lamb shoulder, about 2 pounds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups lamp or low-sodium chicken broth, plus up to 1/2 cup, if needed
1 medium tomato, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 cup blanched whole almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup dried apricots

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Lay the lamb out, skin side down, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper and the thyme. Roll and tie well with butcher's string. Sprinkle the outside with 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole. Add the lamb and cook over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Remove the lamb from the casserole.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the casserole. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining teaspoon cumin, the rosemary and the red wine. Bring to a boil and cook about 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping browned bits off the bottom of the casserole. Stir in the broth, tomato, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Return the lamb to the casserole, cover, place in the oven and bake until meat is almost tender, about 1 hour.

5. Remove the casserole from the oven and take out the meat. Remove the vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon and place them in a blender. Blend until smooth. Scrape the mixture back into the pot and stir well. Place over medium heat and cook about 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Return the meat to the sauce and surround with the almonds, prunes, and apricots. Cover and bake until the meat is very tender and the fruit is soft, about 15 minutes.

6. Remove the lamb from the casserole, cut and remove the string and cut the lamb into thin slices. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a little additional broth. Divide the lamb among 8 plates and spoon some sauce over the top. Serve immediately, passing any remaining sauce separately.

Maida Heatter's Chocolate Walnut Torte (pareve)
Adapted from Maida Heatter's Great Chocolate Desserts
Makes 6 to 8 servings

A rich chocolate sponge nut cake from an acclaimed baker.

12 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
8 ounces walnuts, finely ground
Pinch of salt
Confectioners sugar for decoration (optional)
Melted semisweet chocolate for decoration (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar until well blended, about 2 minutes, at high speed in an electric mixer. Beat in the chocolate and fold in half the nuts. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until very softly peaked, then gradually beat in the remaining sugar and continue beating until the egg whites hold firm peaks but are not dry.

4. Stir a little of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in about half the remaining egg whites. Finally fold in the remaining nuts and the rest of the egg whites.

5. Spoon the mixture into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.

6. Remove the cake from the oven and turn upside down on a rack or suspend, upside down, over the neck of a bottle until completely cooled. Use a knife with a thin, stiff blade to loosen the cake from the pan by running the knife carefully and closely along the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. It may be dusted with confectioners' sugar or drizzled with a lacework of melted chocolate.

Recipes from The New York Times Passover Cookbook, edited by Linda Amster, copyright © 1999 by The New York Times. All rights reserved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2003

    the best Passover cookbook there is

    This is an awesome cookbook filled with excellent recipes. Some difficult, but MANY are very simple and all are wonderful!

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