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A Sephardic-Inspired Passover Dinner

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This Passover meal truly is different from all others—that is, different from the Ashkenazi-tradition menus many of us grew up with. Instead, it draws its inspiration from the Sephardic traditions of the Middle East and Persia. Though it retains some elements, like matzo ball soup and charoses, the courses are enlivened with flavors like cumin, pomegranate, orange-flower water, and figs. Most Sephardic traditions considered rice (which is kitniyot) kosher for Passover, thus the inclusion of a rice-quinoa pilaf, but if you prefer to avoid the rice you can simply use all quinoa. This menu serves 4 to 6, but you’ll need to double the soup and salad recipes.

Menu Timeline

1 Day Ahead

  • Make the fig charoses.
  • Make the orange-hazelnut cake.

5 Hours Ahead

  • Begin making the chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Prep and refrigerate the herbs for the herb salad.

2 Hours Ahead

  • Soak the quinoa and rice (or just quinoa) for the jeweled pilaf.
  • Make the dressing for the herb salad.

1 Hour 30 Minutes Ahead

  • Make the matzo balls and prep the vegetables for the soup.

1 Hour Ahead

  • Cook the quinoa and rice (or just quinoa) for the jeweled pilaf.
  • Start the roasted carrots.

20 Minutes Ahead

  • Finish the matzo ball soup.
  • Finish the jeweled pilaf.
  • Dress the herb salad.

The Menu


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