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A Traditional Passover Dinner

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Matzo ball soup, brisket and a rich flourless chocolate cake celebrate the holiday in style

Menu compiled by Tony Rosenfeld

All holidays celebrate tradition, though Passover, perhaps more than any other in the Jewish calendar, really sticks to the script when it comes to the menu. This is partly because leavened breads and grains are excluded from the festivities, so the options are slightly limited. But it’s also because the staples at a seder—haroset, matzo ball soup, and brisket—are so good that they can’t be skipped, not even for one year.

All seders begin with haroset, a spiced fruit and nut spread that’s perfect for topping matzo. Then it’s on to the meal—here, it starts with a flavorful matzo ball soup. For the main course, brisket is always my preferred centerpiece, and an elegant potato gratin and braised baby artichokes to round out the meal. Finally, there’s a rich flourless and butter-free walnut-tweed torte to finish the meal on a sweet note.

Looking for more Passover ideas? See our editors’ Top Passover Recipe Picks, or browse All Passover Recipes.

Menu Timeline

Three days ahead:

  • Shop for all of your ingredients.
  • Make the chicken broth.
  • Make the haroset.

Two days ahead:

  • Make the chicken soup and matzo balls.

One day ahead:

  • Braise the brisket; refrigerate the meat and vegetables in the degreased, strained cooking juices (hold off on making the sauce until the day of the dinner).
  • Make and glaze the chocolate-walnut torte.
  • Set the table.

Four hours before dinner:

  • Prep the potatoes and bake the gratin; keep it at room temperature when finished.

One hour before dinner:

  • Reheat the matzo ball soup.
  • Reheat the brisket and the potato gratin in a 325*F oven. Make the pan sauce for the brisket.
  • Make the quick-braised artichokes.

Fifteen minutes before dinner

  • Keep the brisket warm on the stovetop.

The Menu


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