Ready for seder

Passover is coming up Monday, and there can be a lot of preparation going into the seder dinner. In LENS today we have a story offering a timeline, as well as some other tips. Check it out, then get ready with these recipes.


Pomegranate-Roasted Root Vegetables

This recipe was developed by Newsday columnist Marge Perry. You can make it early in the day or the day before you plan to serve.


• 1 (1-pound) bag frozen baby onions, thawed

• 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut in 1/4 -inch slices

• 1 pound unpeeled new potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

• 1 pound unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

• 1 pound turnips, peeled and cut in half, then in 1/4-inch slices

• 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch pieces

• 2 1/2 teaspoons salt

• 1 teaspoon dried thyme

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 1/4 cup dry sherry

• 1/2 cup pomegranate juice


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a large roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Turn the pan in the oven and cook until vegetables are tender, about another 15 minutes.

To reheat, bring to room temperature, then place in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Makes eight servings.


Matzo Balls

In this recipe from “The Mile End Cookbook,” Noah Bernamoff cautions, “When you’re rolling them, you’re not making a meatball. You don’t want them to be too tight and dense, so use a gentle touch.”


• 1 1/2 cups matzo meal

• 4 large eggs

• 1/3 cup schmaltz (chicken fat) or olive oil

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• 8 cups chicken broth


Mix all the ingredients except the chicken stock together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for two hours. (You can make the mixture a day ahead; store it in a sealed container that has enough room to allow it to expand.)

Form the mixture into balls that are a little larger than a quarter; they should be completely smooth on the outside with no cracks. Put the chicken broth in a wide pot and bring to a bare simmer. Cook the matzo balls for 20 minutes. (Discard broth, save for another purpose or use to extend your homemade soup.) Add cooked matzo balls to finished chicken soup, or keep them warm by placing them in a colander and placing the colander in a covered pot that has an inch or so of simmering water on the bottom.)

Makes about 10 matzo balls.


Chicken Soup

This recipe is adapted from “The Mile End Cookbook” by Noah and Rae Bernamoff. If you don’t want to make your own chicken broth, skip down to step 4 and proceed with 3 quarts of canned low-sodium broth.


For the broth:

• 3 small chickens (2 1/2 pounds each), each cut into 8 pieces

• 10 whole black peppercorns

• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

• 2 medium parsnips, peeled and quartered

• 2 medium carrots, peeled and quartered

• 2 stalks of celery, trimmed and quartered

• 2 large onions, peeled and quartered

• 3 sprigs dill

• 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

• 3 sprigs thyme

• 2 fresh bay leaves

For the finished soup:

• 2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

• 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

• 2 ribs of celery, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch dice

• Matzo balls (see recipe)

• Chopped fresh dill for garnish


Place chicken pieces in large stockpot along with peppercorns, salt, and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Heat over medium until the liquid starts to simmer. Adjust heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, occasionally skimming any foam and fat that rise to the top.

Using slotted spoon or tongs, remove breast and thigh sections; reserve for the soup (or another use, such as chicken salad), leaving drumsticks and wings in pot. Add the parsnips, carrots, celery and onions and continue to simmer for another 1 1/2 hours, stirring and skimming occasionally.

Remove pot from heat and add dill, parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Allow herbs to steep for 30 minutes, then remove all meat, vegetables and herbs and discard. (They will have lost all their taste.) Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with one ply of a two-ply paper towel. Refrigerate the soup and, if desired, skim off excess fat when it solidifies.

About 45 minutes before you plan to serve the soup, bring it to a low simmer. (If you don’t have 3 quarts, add a little canned chicken broth.) Add the cubed parsnip and carrot, and the diced celery. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes, then add the cooked matzo balls and, if desired, some of the reserved breast and thigh meat. Simmer for five minutes more and season to taste. Garnish with dill.

Serves eight to 12 as a first course.

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