The 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
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.
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Mock Chopped Liver
- 6 tbsp mild-flavored frying oil, divided (Andrew likes peanut oil; if you're avoiding kitniyot, Tori recommends KFP avocado 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)
- 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.