Eggplant sticksBy Elke Probkevitz

On The Side

So many women are in a panic this time of year over what to prepare for their Passover meals. If you stick to healthy, seasonal ingredients, you can make almost anything for Passover that you would make any time of year. Passover appropriately comes around in the spring, when the land is revived with new produce, just as the Jewish nation was freed and reborn anew. Use all these wonderful fresh ingredients for side dishes you can make on Passover and all year long.

Baked fries. Slice up parsnips, carrots, or even eggplant into sticks and coat with almond flour or matzah meal and spices like coriander and cumin, or drizzle with olive oil and honey. Roast in a 425° oven until softened on the inside and crisp on the outside. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choosing.

Purées. Make a smooth, creamy accompaniment to your meat dish by mashing up or puréeing cooked cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes, or sweet potatoes. Roast the veggies to caramelize for a richer flavor. Top with caramelized onions, mushrooms, or toasted nuts to add texture to the dish.

Grilled veggies. Invest in a grill pan for Passover to use for everything from chicken and meat to all sorts of veggies. A quick grilling of asparagus with olive oil and sea salt is a perfect side or addition to a salad. Grill a medley of red onions, bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, and zucchini for a beautiful and healthy vegetable platter.

Roasted veggies. High-temperature roasting achieves delicious caramelized results for all kinds of veggies. Roasted cubed butternut squash tossed with kale and pecans, roasted baby carrots with a homemade pesto dressing, shallots roasted with balsamic, caramelized roasted Brussels sprouts with citrus and pomegranate seeds . . . so many options and variations!

Couscous fake-out. My newest discovery, which will be very useful this Passover, is the cauliflower couscous: whip out the food processor, and pulse cauliflower florets in batches until it resembles couscous. Sauté cauliflower in a little olive oil and mix in spices, fresh herbs, and nuts. v

Baked Eggplant Fries

With Tomato—Basil Dip



2 small Japanese eggplants

2 Tbsp. potato starch

1 cup almond flour

½ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. ground cumin

â…› tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 large egg


1 ripe tomato

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp red-wine vinegar

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 Tbsp. chopped onion

1 Tbsp. fresh basil

1 clove garlic


Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Cut eggplants in half, then cut each half in half again. Slice pieces lengthwise into fries.

Stir together potato starch, almond flour, and salt. Divide into two shallow plates. In another bowl, mix coriander, cumin, and cayenne with oil and egg.

Roll eggplant into almond flour mixture, dip into egg mixture, then into next plate of almond flour. Place fries on baking sheet and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Bake 15—20 minutes until crispy and browned.

Blend all dip ingredients in a food processor and serve with fries.

Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook that you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to, or visiting

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