I haven’t bought a cookbook for Pesach in more than 15 years. The last one I got was quite the disappointment - big on gorgeous pictures, but full of ‘recipes’ that were basically some version of ‘combine onion soup mix with X’ or ‘get X brand and then do this with it’.
While all that stuff was available in the US for Pesach, the UK 15 years’ back was nowhere near as well stocked with kosher for Passover ‘brands’, so most of the recipes in that book were a bust.
Then, I went through my hardcore, super-healthy, gluten-free and vegan stage, which meant that most of my recipes could be adapted for Pesach anyway.
I’m out the other side of all the eating madness, and I really, really wanted a cookbook with mostly healthy recipes, but which wouldn’t keep me chained to the kitchen for hours or trying to track down unusual ingredients all over the country.
Enter: A Taste of Pesach #2.
Now, I also looked at A Taste of Pesach #1 in the store, but for some reason the recipes in the second book really just spoke to me more.
Yesterday, I took the book for its first spin through my Pesach kitchen, and I have to say I really, really like it. I made eight recipes from it yesterday, and they all came out really good - except for the chocolate bundt cake.
But let me tell you, I am hugely challenged when it comes to baking cakes, and it’s very, very rare for me to ever bake a cake that people actually want to eat (without coercion) even when it’s not Pesach, so I don’t think I can blame the book for that.
Maybe, there really is a difference between baking soda and baking powder, who knows?
So in the meantime, I’m very happy with how my first batch of recipes came out, and I will be trying out a few more over the holidays.
The ingredient list is mostly just very basic Passover staples, and is mostly on the healthy side - only one recipe, for the Pesach quiche, called for margarine, and that was easily switched out for butter (because who eats a meaty quiche anyway?!) - and I just used my regular olive oil throughout the other recipes.
There are a couple of instances of onion soup mix - what can we do, there is no perfection until Moshiach comes.
But on the whole, A Taste of Pesach is really good addition to the Pesach cookbook stable, especially if you’re a health-conscious cook who wants some inspiring and yummy-looking food that isn’t all mayonnaise and margarine-y, and next year I will BH go and buy the first one, too.
If you still haven’t started your cooking and you can pick the book up easily, try it out!
And may your bundt cake come out much better than mine.
If you have a favorite cookbook for Pesach, please feel free to let us all know about it in the comments section. We need all the help we can get...
Rivka Levy's Books: