A Passover Salade Niçoise
Plus: Some Exciting Personal News!
Hello newsletter friends (there are a lot of new folks this month - welcome!)
In this week’s newsletter, I share a recipe for a delicious Passover Salade Niçoise that will save you from those dreaded mid-Passover hangries. I also have some *very exciting* personal news to share with you about the Substack Food Writer’s Intensive.
But before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at The Jewish Table from the past month. For folks who aren’t subscribed to the weekly newsletter yet, here’s what you missed:
Smoky Sweet Potato Hummus plus: have you ever been invoiced for Shabbat dinner?!
Simple, Perfect Rice Pudding plus: a 40th birthday for me, and a 1 year birthday for The Jewish Table!
Your Passover Menu, Done. I created a seder menu + shopping list to ease your Passover planning mind. Plus: I share a behind-the-scenes peek at the photo shoot for my upcoming Roman Jewish cookbook!
Savory Mushroom and Matzo Pie - a delicious, vegan main dish for your Passover seder. (See the bottom of this post for a small-but-important recipe correction!)
Never miss a recipe or story, and get access to the full recipe archive, by subscribing to The Jewish Table’s weekly newsletter.
Substack’s Food Writer’s Intensive
I shared this news on Instagram last week (so forgive me if you’ve already seen it), but I am delighted to announce that The Jewish Table and I were chosen to be a part of Substack’s Food Writers Intensive!
Over the next 3 months, 11 writers (including me) will meet weekly over Zoom with the goal of bringing our newsletters to the next level. The fellowship includes a generous financial stipend and access to creative tools and business guidance. Along the way, we will learn from some of Substack’s most successful writers (like Mark Bittman and Ruth Reichl), and serve as a sounding board for one another’s ideas and goals.
I applied for the Intensive on a whim and with zero expectations. It seemed like a great fit on my end of the equation - I certainly have plenty to learn, and am not always great at asking for the help I need! But I had no idea what the selection committee was looking for, or whether The Jewish Table would be a good fit for them. So you can imagine the happy dance in my kitchen that followed when I received the acceptance email. :)
As I wrote on Instagram, I launched The Jewish Table newsletter on Substack because I liked the company’s approach to empowering writers to create and share on their own terms. I had no idea just what a supportive community it would turn out to be.
You can find out more about the Food Writers Intensive, and meet the other 10 fellows, here! Meanwhile, thank you for being a part of the community here at The Jewish Table. I am so excited to share the benefits of what I learn over the next three months with YOU!
A Passover Salade Niçoise
Every year, in the weeks leading up to Passover, I put a ton of energy into thinking about what to serve for the seders - and far too little thought into what to eat during the *other 6 days* of the holiday. I could probably coast through on a rotating diet of matzo brei, matzo pizza, and matzo topped with almond butter, banana, and honey. But by day 3, my body usually starts crying out for something fresh.
Enter: The Passover Salade Niçoise. Whoever first dreamed up this classic French salad likely didn’t realize it, but they created the perfect mid-week Passover dinner. It is simple to make, and each component can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge until dinnertime. It is, by nature, an ideal mix-and-match salad that allows customization depending on what you have on hand. And it is bright and satisfying - the perfect antidote to matzo overload.
I also love that you don’t just *make* a salad niçoise, you *compose* it. Every ingredient in its place, seamlessly working together as a team. It all feels so wonderfully elegant. I inherited my love of salade niçoise from my personal standard bearer of elegance - my mother, Carol. As evidence, check out this dinner scene (and her fabulous manicure) from back in 2015:
My Passover-friendly riff on a classic salad niçoise takes a few liberties with ingredients, but maintains the spirit of the original dish. I hope it adds brightness to your holiday if you celebrate. And if not, I hope it leads to a delicious spring dinner!
Passover Salade Niçoise
Serves: As few or as many as you’d like! Here’s what you need:
Boiled new potatoes or fingerlings: Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil, then boil potatoes until tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and halve if desired.
Hard boiled eggs: Save a pot! Boil the eggs and potatoes at the same time. Pull the eggs out of the boiling water at 10-12 minutes and drop them into an ice bath to cool down. Then peel and halve or quarter if desired.
Tuna: I usually splurge on oil packed tuna for the flavor, but you can use whatever you like. Sometimes I sub in roasted or poached salmon, or grilled chicken for a change of pace. Baked tofu or marinated beans are also delicious, though since our household avoids kitniyot on Passover, I save those swap for the rest of the year. (You do you!!)
Pan roasted asparagus: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium-high heat. Add a bunch of trimmed asparagus spears and a pinch of salt and roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, 5-8 minutes.
Blistered cherry tomatoes: Save a pan! After removing the asparagus from the frying pan, add a drizzle of additional oil followed by the cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of salt. (No need to wipe out the pan in between.) Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes are softened and blistered in spots, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and a little honey and cook, shaking the pan to coat, for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Briny things: Your choice of olives, canned artichoke hearts, pickles or cornichons etc.
Crunchy things: Your choice of sliced cucumber, strips of fresh bell pepper, quartered radishes etc.
Dressing: Dress your salad however you’d like! I usually make a vinaigrette (like this simple and perfect one from Adeena Sussman - leaving out the mustard on Passover and adding a clove of minced garlic.)
Put it Together
Arrange the ingredients in whatever pattern you prefer on a large serving tray. Don’t worry too much about design - with ingredients like these, it is destined to be gorgeous! Keep your dressing on the side so you and your guests can drizzle to your liking. Serve with matzo alongside.
A Teeny Correction
Last week, I shared a recipe for a Savory Mushroom and Matzo Pie made with vegetable broth. But one wise reader reached out to let me know that it is all but impossible to find Passover-certified vegetable broth. (Thank you Sherri!) I had no idea! There is absolutely nothing inherently difficult about certifying vegetable broth for Passover - I guess there just isn’t enough of a market for that product to make it worthwhile?
Anyway, I apologize for suggesting you use a product that doesn’t exist! If you use uncertified products in your kitchen on Passover, you can make the dish with your favorite vegetable broth. Otherwise, here is my recipe for vegetarian chicken soup - serve some with matzo balls to the vegetarians at your seder, and save the rest for the Matzo Pie! xoxo
The Jewish Table is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.