Mock Chopped Liver

The Shiksa’s Passover Potluck is a unique annual online event. I’ve invited my friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to share recipes that are kosher for Passover. My goals are simple– to foster mutual understanding between different cultures, to introduce you to my foodie friends, and to share yummy recipes and cooking ideas for Passover! To learn more about the Passover holiday, click here. To learn about what makes a recipe kosher for Passover, click here. To check out the other Passover Potluck recipes, click here.

Today’s Passover Potluck recipe is a tasty contribution– it’s vegetarian, unprocessed, dairy free, pareve, gluten free, AND kosher for Passover. That makes this recipe pretty darn healthy, right? And would you believe it’s tasty, too? I’d expect nothing less from my good friend Andrew! :)

Andrew’s blog Eating Rules explores natural, unprocessed food, and the idea that healthy eating– in his words– “doesn’t have to suck.” I met Andrew through Food Bloggers of Los Angeles (FBLA), a fun local group of food bloggers that gathers each month here in Southern California. I was immediately struck by Andrew’s commitment to healthy food blogging. He’s a bright person with a spirit that really shines through in his food writing. Before long, I’d agreed to guest post for his popular annual online event, October Unprocessed. In fact, his event helped inspire me to create my own event for Jewish cooking. The Passover Potluck was born… and the rest, as they say, is history!

In this Passover Potluck guest post, Andrew introduces us to a recipe from Arthur Schwartz– one of my Jewish cooking heroes– and his recipe for Mock Chopped Liver. Enjoy! ~ Tori

Andrew Says:

Growing up as a Reform Jew in Los Angeles, I’ll admit that I never really felt an incredibly strong connection to my Jewish heritage. Except when it came to food.  I had always been into food — long before the term “foodie” was invented, and long before I started my blog, Eating Rules.

Some of my favorite memories as a kid were when my grandmother Rose would come visit from The Bronx.  It was wonderful to see her, of course, but what really got me excited was when she took over the kitchen.  She’d get up early and make Blintzes using the jumbo-pack of Friendship farmer cheese she’d carried on the plane… and then Kasha Varnishkes… and Seven-Layer-Matzo-Cake… and Mandelbrodt (without nuts, please, Grandma!)… and… well, you get the idea.

I also have a fond memory of making “mock chopped liver” with my mother. We had found a recipe that used canned green beans and saltines, and would use her cool, old meat-grinder. We’d clamp it to the counter and then turn a big crank which drove a screw to mash everything together and out would come this fantastic pate.

These days, I’d rather start from fresh veggies instead. So when my fiancé Matty cracked open his copy of Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking and showed me the vegetarian chopped liver recipes, I was thrilled. This one is his mushroom version, which has been a big hit lately at all the gatherings around the holidays.

There are a few steps involved, but it’s actually pretty easy.  It skips the saltines, which also makes it great for Passover. You’ll need 3 hard boiled eggs– to learn my method for “Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Every Time,” click here. Nowadays, we use the food processor instead of the meat grinder; in a pinch you could also use an immersion or regular blender.

Andrew Wilder is a “healthy foodie” who believes that healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. He writes at Eating Rules, and you can also catch up with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Mock Chopped Liver

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp mild-flavored frying oil, divided (Andrew likes peanut oil; if you're avoiding kitniyot, the Shiksa recommends KFP grapeseed oil)
  • 2-3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 lb. white mushrooms in 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced scallions and/or butter lettuce (optional - for garnish)
  • Matzo (to serve with - optional - use GF matzo if gluten free)

You will also need

  • sauté pan or skillet, food processor or blender
Servings: 10
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat 3 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and sauté until dark brown. Stir them every couple of minutes to keep from burning (and scrape the pan with a flat spatula as you do so). You want them to get really dark and caramelized. This should take at least 20 minutes, maybe more. Remove from pan and let cool on a plate or bowl.
  • Using the same pan, and without cleaning it, add 3 more tbsp oil and keep on medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté until they soften and release their juices, then continue to cook until very browned, about 5 more minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.
  • Add the onions, the mushrooms, and all the remaining ingredients to a food processor (or blender). Pulse a few times, then scrape down the side of the bowl. Run the processor some more, scraping the mixture down again, and keep repeating this until it's all well-blended and the walnuts are pulverized into the mix (if you see walnut pieces, keep going). Don't overdo it, though, or it'll turn into a paste.
  • You can serve immediately (with matzo, of course), but it's actually even better when it has a chance to sit (refrigerated) for a few hours or overnight. Leftovers will keep, covered, in the fridge for about a week.

Comments (55)Post a Comment

  1. This is an interesting recipe it looks like a chopped liver recipe with mushrooms and walnuts substituting for the liver.
    I’ll give it a try but dont tell my mom-her chopped liver has to
    have schmaltz and chicken livers.
    Over the years i have gotten the taste for chicken livers with onions myself and use olive oil instead of schmaltz in making chopper liver
    bestt wishes
    alan

  2. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Hi, Tori. I enjoy your blog very much and this looks like another wonderful recipe to try, but the “print” button seems to be missing from the display. Can you please add it? Thank you.

  3. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Hi Andrew – sounds like a delightful recipe! We love our chopped liver, and would love a vegetarian version too I’m sure!
    Wonderful recipe for the Potluck!
    Wishing you, Tori and your families a Happy Spring!
    LL

  4. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Hi Tori, this looks great! I have a question, do I have to use the eggs? could I replace them with tofu? I’m curious about it. :-)

    1. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
      Hi Coco,

      Good question. I think tofu will probably work just fine. Most of the flavor is coming from the onions and mushrooms — I think the eggs help with the texture.

      You might want to try a silken tofu. Or, though I’m not sure how well this would work, if you freeze the tofu and then thaw it, it changes the texture (it’s a lot tougher/spongier). A bit of experimentation might be necessary… please let us know how it goes!

    2. I’d also like to chime in here Coco– if you do use tofu, you will probably need to season more generously with salt and pepper to make up for the flavor of the yolk. I might even add a little onion powder for a boost of flavor… but as Andrew said, you’ll need to experiment. Do please report back if you try this, I’d love to know how it works for you!

    3. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
      If you are using the tofu, I agree that you would have to add some extra salt and/or pepper. I would put a book on top of the tofu for around 20 min to remove the water.
      If you google tofu scrambled eggs ad those seasonings to your veggie chopped liver. I think that they add cumin,

      For those who do not want the cholesteral from eggs, egg substitue?

      BTW…will be adding this recipe to my passover menu. Looks yummy!

  5. I am so excited to see this recipe, I the real thing, but it’s hard to find good liver in AZ, so a mock version is my next option.

    1. i dont know where in az you are but segals and imperial kosher market in phoenix have chicken liver i go there and also get kosher meat at trader joes

  6. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Yes, I was wondering about the eggs. I’m currently doing the “Daniel Fast” for 21 days and finding TASTY-YUMMY recipes is leading me to think healthy eating does suck… Having coconut curry tempeh strips right now as I type this and they really not working out for me. :(

    1. Lucia, what is the Daniel Fast? Can you give me a brief rundown of the guidelines? I bet I can find some tasty dishes for you… and I’m sure Andrew will have some ideas, too!

    2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
      Definitely curious to know more about the “Daniel Fast.” Then again, I’m not into things like fasts, cleanses, or wacky, super-restrictive diets. I’m into eating healthful, delicious food all the time, since that’s the only sustainable way to go.

  7. My mother-in-law made this every Passover, with a little bit of a twist. She did not use nuts, instead she used some matzoh meal and a baked eggplant, scraped from the skin and chopped….a little more salt and pepper, and POOF…perfect mock chopped liver!

    1. I have used baked eggplant (brinjals) for years as it goes down well each time I serve it… so go for it and enjoy it too!

  8. I like the no-nuts variation! My daughter is allergic to nuts, so our seder table has to be nut-free. For Passover you’d need to use a different oil, though, if you don’t eat kitniyot.

    1. Enthusiastic cook – yes, Ashkenazi Jews who are avoiding kitniyot will want to use a Passover-friendly oil– I like grapeseed oil, which can be found KFP under a few different labels. It seems to be the most neutral tasting. I should add that note to the recipe, will do that now!

  9. Hi Andrew… So nice to meet you. I love the healthy recipes and although I am not vegetarian, veggie dishes make up a big part of my eating habits.
    I would much rather have this mushroom one instead of liver :)

  10. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I’m a vegeterian and I really appreciate recipes like this. Made it tonight and even my father…the meat eater enjoyed it. Look forward to making it again. Thank you for this great recipe.

  11. Andrew and Tori thank you so much for answering my question, I’ll definitely try to do what you told me and let you know how it goes, can’t wait to try it. :-)

  12. Super excited to make this. My usual “fliver” recipe calls for peas and my mom and I were just talking about finding a kosher for Passover version! By the way, my pea version is amaaazing!

  13. PS….if making this to be KFP, you can’t use tofu in place of eggs. But for other times of the year, go for it!

  14. My mom makes a few jars of this every Pesach and it always gets polished off! Her recipe does not include mushrooms, just eggs, onions and nuts plus little hint of sugar for added sweetness. It’s my favorite recipe of the entire chag!

  15. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Fantastic and easy recipe. Thank you!! I am SO going to try this. Veggie chopped liver is $13.79/lb at one place and $15.99/lb at another place, both kosher places.
    Let’s estimate how much to make this:
    6 tbsp mild-flavored frying oil = pennies
    2-3 medium onions = $1.50 maybe
    1 lb. white mushrooms = $4
    3 hard boiled eggs = $1 (organic cage-free)
    1/2 cup shelled walnuts = $1
    1/2 tsp kosher salt = c’mon!
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper = who cares!
    Sliced scallions and/or butter lettuce $.50
    $8 total for at least 2 pounds from this recipe. NOT BAD!!

    I’ve never made it but have 4 other recipes that are raved about but your is the first I feel like trying, probably because of the mushrooms. I will report back!

    1. OMG, I made it tonight and it is to freakin’ die for. I tweaked the measurements because I bought a 24-ounce container of large white mushrooms and wanted to use them all, so I added 50% to the ingredients.
      I used 3 giant onions, 2 lb, 6.8z trimmed
      1 lb 11 ounces of mushrooms (box said 24 ounce)
      4 hard boiled eggs
      6 ounces = 1 1/4 cup California walnut baking pieces (Trader Joe)
      3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (will drop it to 1/2 teaspoon next time)
      3/8 teaspoon ground fresh pepper (will up it to 1/2 teaspoon next time)
      It took

    2. It took 1 hour to cook down those onions and another hour or maybe a little less the mushrooms. DIVINE. Thank you so much for your fabulous recipe!!

  16. Okay I am not going to lie when I saw the word liver I was going to keep going. Then I looked a little more closely and glad I did. I have a hubby who would love for me to make this. So this is a first for the lunatic, I’ll be making mock liver. Thanks Andrew for the recipe and I must say it’s a pleasure getting to know you better through Tori.

  17. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I should have asked this last week but time got away from me. I’m making this Thursday for Friday night. I was wondering if substituting pecans would alter the recipe too much. I’m in Texas and we have pecans a plenty down here. I use pecans in my charoset too. YUMMY!!!

  18. Hi,

    I only have chopped walnut pieces, and was wondering what would be the equivalent to the 1/2 cup in the recipe (even better if you know it in grams…)
    Thanks so much, and Happy Passover

    1. I wouldn’t stress about the exact proportions of the walnuts. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe.

      If the walnuts are finely chopped, just use a little less. You’ll want it to be somewhere around 4 ounces or 115 grams, give or take.

  19. I make a version of vegetarian chopped liver that is very similar to this but without eggs (egg allergy here). Just the mushrooms, onions, vegetable oil, walnuts (I toast them) and seasoning. Very good and simple.

  20. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    OMG! Just made “liver”. It’s delicious! I don’t think it will last until the Sedar! I’m making another batch tomorrow!

  21. I made this recipe and my usual (schmalz-free) chopped liver recipe, combining them. No one was the wiser!

    1. Hi HB– I haven’t tried it myself, but you might want to try subbing toasted sesame seeds. They seem to work well as a nut substitute in many recipes. I can’t make any promises though. If you try it, please let us know how it goes!

  22. Can this be made without a food processor? Say with knives or the back of a spoon and a heck of a lot of elbow grease?

    1. Of course! That’s why it’s called mock “chopped liver,” because the old fashioned way required lots and lots of chopping. If you don’t mind putting your arms to work, chop the mixture with a sharp chef’s knife till it gets very fine and takes on the texture in the photos. Enjoy!

  23. I sauteed some onions and a medley of mushrooms (crimini, potabella and shitake) with some red and green peppers (and a variety of “secret ingedients”) this morning. After having a taste I thought, wow this tastes just like chopped liver! Then went on line to see if anyone else had similar recipes and found yours. Sounds really good. Will try it ASAP.

  24. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Just made this using slightly different proportions. It is such a great combinational and because it looks so much like real chop liver it tastes like real chop liver. Thanks.

  25. One of my aunts made mock chopped liver out of yellow string beans – and it looked and tasted just like the real McCoy!!

    At first I was afraid to eat it … thinking she accidently mixed dairy with chopped liver; she assured my mom and me that it was ok to eat!! LOL Sad that none of her recipes were written down or shared with others.

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