Shiksa Seder

Posted on April 17th, 2017

Passover ends tomorrow, so I’m just getting this post in under the wire! We had had an Easter egg hunt and brunch last year, so in the spirit of cultural fairness, Ian and I hosted our first Seder on Saturday night.  As you know, I love entertaining, and while each dinner party presents challenges, they’re usually the sort I’m eager to tackle.  But Passover was different, and I was so, so nervous all week.  In the classic Helen tradition of overthinking absolutely everything, I really wanted to honor Ian’s heritage and do it right.



I wisely put Ian in charge of the Haggadahs and Seder plate planning, but there were still a lot of firsts for me.  To calm my nerves and play to my strengths, I actually started with baking dessert the night before.  It was my first gluten and dairy free cake, but this lemon almond torte turned out amazingly well.  I sometimes find almond flour to be a bit grainy, but the texture really worked here.  I used this recipe as a base, and added 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a teaspoon of almond extract to play up the almond flavor.  I paired it with a homemade berry compote.  It was a great recipe for spring!




Ina Garten is perfect, so her tzimmes recipe was perfect, too (modified to dairy free for the occasion).  The spinach souffle I made was, frankly, not thrilling.  Dairy free souffle is fairly well doomed, I suppose.  Since horseradish is a traditional part of the Seder plate, I roasted two honey horseradish chickens to serve as the main course.  They definitely had a rustic Norman Rockwell vibe coming out of the oven!



Our table was set for ten (nine friends + one Elijah), and the most gorgeous hydrangeas made for a simple yet striking centerpiece.  Friends brought baba ganoush, matzo ball soup, matzo kugel, charoset, and salad.  The candles were lit, the wine was poured, and poured, and poured, the story was told.





On a related note, I should practice carving chicken.