World's Easiest Seder Menu
Getty ImagesThe Passover Seder is a joyous occasion for family and friends, but it needn't be a difficult dinner to create.
You will surely please all your guests with our easy menu for eight: It includes a simple gefilte fish loaf, the juiciest of briskets and fragrant Charoset. Of course we've also included a crowd-pleasing matzo ball soup. And, to celebrate spring, our menu includes the freshest of green salads and a show-stopping dessert featuring the classic combination of rhubarb and strawberry in a nest of snowy meringue.
All of the recipes are simple and can be prepared ahead so you can enjoy the holiday too. Read on for the recipes and a stress-free game-plan to help you get everything ready in time.
See the full Seder Menu with photos below.
GAME-PLAN4 to 5 days ahead:
Make Charoset and meringues
2 to 3 days ahead:
Make strawberry sauce, gefilte fish loaf, and brisket
1 day ahead:
Make matzo ball soup, rhubarb, clean greens, cut carrots and parsnips
2 hours ahead:
Bring Charoset, gefilte fish and brisket to room temperature
About 1 hour ahead:
Reheat brisket and roast vegetables
Make dressing for salad
Also on KitchenDaily: Easy Everyday Passover Recipes
From Slashfood: Kosher Wines for Passover
While there isn't any religious significance to matzo balls, these types of dumplings are common in Eastern European cooking and have become a ritual dish for the Passover holiday. Classic matzo ball soup can be made with your own homemade chicken soup or ready-made store-bought broth. There are several organic brands now available in supermarkets.
Baking a loaf of gefilte fish is so much simpler than poaching individual ovals, and making your own (instead of using store-bought gefilte fish) allows you to season the fish as you like. There are those families partial to sweet fish and those who love a more peppery version, so feel free to adjust the seasonings.
Although you can serve this brisket right after braising, it improves if made ahead, a boon to the busy cook. If you can't find brisket, look for a thick chuck roast. It won't slice as neatly as the brisket but the flavor is just as good. No large pot? Brown the meat in a heavy skillet and transfer to a roasting pan, then tightly cover with foil. Be sure to deglaze the skillet with the water so you don't miss any of the browned bits that make the sauce so good.
Passover is also a spring harvest festival and you won't find a fresher tasting salad than this. Using parsley as a salad green and not just as a garnish always amazes people. If you can't find flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, use curly.
After a filling Seder dinner, this colorful dessert is a welcome treat. It is a study in contrasts -- sweet and tart, crunchy and smooth -- and totally satisfying. As an added bonus, it can be made in advance.
Powdered sugar is not kosher for Passover because of the cornstarch it contains. Our easy substitute is a combination of potato starch and sugar whirled in the blender.