Passover is when we can smell the freedom through the spring air, the freshest ingredients, the matzah, the wine, and all those foods that give the festival so much meaning.

We all know Passover can mean a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. The recipes I am sharing with you are all five ingredients or less, yet they are bursting with flavor. Be free to enjoy the taste of freedom.

Homemade Charoset

So I’ll confess: I am not the one who makes the charoset in our home – this has been my husband’s job since we married. Our first year making Passover, he called my mother-in-law and jotted down the four simple ingredients needed on an index card, which I still have with all our Passover stuff. He makes a lot of it – it’s sweet and goes great with matzah – for us to enjoy long after the Seder is over.

Yields about 1 to 1.5 liters

  • 6 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2+ cups sweet red wine
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Kneidlach aka Matzah Balls (credit: HENNY SHOR)

The best way to make this is with a blender or a food processor using the S blade. Pour a half cup of wine into the blender, add in half the apples, then 1 tsp. cinnamon and half of the walnuts. Pour in another half cup of wine and start to pulse the blender. If you see it’s too thick and not mixing, slowly add in more wine. Mix on high in the blender for about 1-2 minutes, depending on how lumpy or smooth you like it.

Pour the mixture into a container and set aside. Repeat the above in the blender with the remaining ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Lasts for about two weeks.

Kneidlach aka Matzah Balls

What’s Passover without kneidlach? I have tried many recipes over the years, and they were either like hard golf balls or dissolved in my bowl before I even got to taste them. It’s the big debate in every family – really dense or light and fluffy? 

I found the perfect compromise about 12 years ago at my neighbor Sarah’s table. I have the little paper she wrote the recipe on taped inside my kitchen cabinet for easy reference. Passover and throughout the year, these are the perfect matzah balls.

Yields a dozen kneidlach.

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup matzah meal
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. salt for boiling

In a bowl, gently whisk the eggs and oil together with a wire whisk or fork. Add in the matzah meal and salt, and mix until well combined.

Refrigerate for at least a half hour.

Fill a stockpot with water, add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil.

Take about 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it into a ball in your hands. You may want to put a bit of oil on your hands for smooth rolling. Slowly drop the matzah balls one by one into the pot of water. Slightly lower the heat, cover the pot and let cook for about 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them into a bowl to cool. Can keep in the fridge up to three days or in the freezer for two months.

Honey-Glazed Beef Ribs (credit: HENNY SHOR)

Honey-Glazed Beef Ribs

The holidays are the perfect time to make a special dish that we wouldn’t normally prepare during the year. Prior to the holidays, I like to keep my eyes open for special cuts of meat that I can serve at our festive meals. A rack of ribs caught my eye, and I knew it was mine to purchase for Passover. What’s even better is how simple this dish is to make. Little effort, big flavor. 

Yields 6 servings.

  • 1 rack of ribs, uncut with about 4-6 bones (about 2.2 kilos)
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1 cup honey
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 125°C/250°F. Place the ribs in a large roasting pan and make a few tiny slits in the meat between the bones and place some garlic slices inside. Pour the apricot jam and the honey over the ribs and spread evenly. Add the remaining garlic slices, and sprinkle on the black pepper. Cover tightly with foil, place the pan in the oven, and let it cook for about 8 hours. Remove from the oven and enjoy the heavenly aroma. Let cool to room temperature (about 2 hours) before slicing. If desired, you can remove the bones and then slice the ribs. 

For shorter cooking time, set oven temperature to 140°C/185°F, and cook for 4 to 5 hours.

Three-Ingredient Cookies (Macaroons) (credit: HENNY SHOR)

Three-Ingredient Cookies (Macaroons)

My Aunt Nachamy, a great baker who hates to bake, would make these macaroons every Passover. When I was a kid, macaroons did not appeal to me, as I associated them with those that came in a can and had a weird taste and texture. But my aunt presented them as cookies, so I was more than glad to taste them. 

Well, that was it. They were crunchy, sweet, and had a delicious flavor, plus they didn’t come in a can. As these cookies disappear faster than I can make them, thank goodness it’s pretty easy to make another batch. They are great with my morning coffee, afternoon tea, dessert, or to keep in a dish for when friends and family come to visit.

Also, many recipes on Passover call for egg whites, but this one calls for egg yolks, so now you know what to make with all the yolks you have left over.

Yields 2 dozen cookies.

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups ground almonds

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar together using a large spoon or spatula; add in the ground almonds and mix until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll out balls about 4-5 cm/1.5-2” in diameter and place them on the baking sheet, keeping space between them. Do not flatten the balls, as they will flatten and spread during baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely – note, they will harden when cooling. Get your hot drink, sit down, and enjoy.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Passover!

The writer is a kitchen coach, inspiring confidence and creativity in the kitchen. Learn more about bringing the best out of your kitchen:

2023-03-25T09:06:55Z dg43tfdfdgfd