Springs harvest boosts between-seder meals

Although I love cooking and planning the menu for Passover seders, it’s the meals that follow them where I really become ingredient-challenged.

No relying on pasta, rice or other quick-to-fix grains for a nourishing, hearty dinner favorite. No slapping together of something between two pieces of bread for an on-the-go lunch. Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Special K — not to mention a bowl of hot steaming oatmeal — just disappear from the breakfast menu, so we call in the multitude of matzah brie recipes to save the morning.

Incorporating seder leftovers into the week’s recipes, along with all the newly-harvested spring vegetables and fruits like asparagus, artichokes and strawberries, gives my family a refreshing take on some old traditional recipes that sustain us for the eight day holiday yet still reminds us it is Passover.

Brisket Stuffed Potato Pockets | Serves 6

5 medium potatoes, baked

1 cup matzah meal
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. salt
about 1 lb. leftover brisket, chopped fine
matzah cake meal
oil for frying

Peel and mash potatoes. Add matzah meal, eggs and salt. Mix well into a soft dough-like consistency. Cover and set aside.

Divide dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 3-inch-wide disc. Place a spoonful of brisket on lower half of circle and fold dough over filling. Pinch edges together to seal. Heat oil in large skillet. Cook pockets a few at a time until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Strawberry-Cheese Matzah Brie | Serves 4

4 matzahs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cottage cheese
oil for frying
1 pint strawberries, sliced

Break matzahs into small pieces and place in colander. Run cold water over them. Drain and squeeze out excess water from matzah pieces. Place in a large bowl and combine with egg, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and cottage cheese.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Pour in matzah batter. Fry about 5 minutes or until golden, lifting edges to check color. Turn out onto a flat plate and return to skillet brown on the other side. Cut in to wedges and serve topped with strawberries.

Honeyed Carrot and Asparagus Salad | Serves 8-10

2 lbs. carrots, thinly sliced
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch cayenne
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
3 Tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook carrots in boiling water 2 minutes. Add asparagus and cook another 2 minutes. Drain and place in mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and mix with vegetables. Serve at room temperature.

Louise Fiszer is a Palo Alto cooking teacher, author and the co-author of “Jewish Holiday Cooking.” Her columns alternate with those of Rebecca Ets-Hokin. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to loufiszer@aol.com.

HAPPY PASSOVER