Sunday, March 25, 2012

Very Veggie Pesach 2012: Mediterranean Medley

Yes, that time of year is coming up fast! Time to come up with some new Passover recipes for vegetarians.  I have one today, and I think there will be one or two more this week or next.


This recipe is based on one from The Healthy Jewish Cookbook, which my mother gave me last year.  It's a very simple recipe, well-suited for making after a long day at work: sliced zucchini and tomato over a layer of shredded mozzerella on a bed of sauteed onion and garlic. The original recipe uses fresh mozzerella, but I've never seen fresh mozzerella certified kosher for Passover, so I made some changes to make it work with shredded mozzerella.

This recipe is not vegan (contains cheese), but it is gluten-free and non-gebrochts (contains no matzah). I suppose you could make it vegan by substituting some chopped or ground nuts for the cheeses, but I haven't tried that, so I don't know hwo well it would work.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 4 plum (roma) tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 8 oz shredded mozzerella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 fronds fresh dill

Kashrut Notes:

  • The OU website confirms that extra virgin olive oil is kosher for Passover without special Passover certification. In the past,  I have used Oliovita brand olive oil, which is Star-K certified kosher for Passover all year round.
  • Star K's website confirms that fresh supermarket produce is not a Passover problem, which covers the onion, garlic, oregano, tomatoes, zucchini and dill. Note that this covers only fresh garlic, oregano and dill! Dried, bottled spices and herbs require Passover certification.
  • Miller's Cheese sells shredded mozzarella in 8 oz bags, which is certified kosher for Passover. Miller's Parmesan is also certified kosher for Passover.

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onions begin to become transparent
  • Stir in the oregano and spread into the bottom of an 8" x 8" x 1" baking pan
  • Spread about 2/3 of the mozzerella over the onion layer
  • Layer zucchini, tomato and a pinch of mozzerella, alternating over the layer of mozzerella (see picture above)
  • Cover with foil and bake for about an hour
  • Remove foil and top with Parmesan. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Top with dill and serve
Note: This recipe should be eaten in one sitting; it doesn't hold up well in the refridgerator overnight. The original recipe alternated zucchini, tomato and fresh mozzerella slices, and that held up well overnight. The shredded mozzerella, which is available with Passover certification, is dried. Placing the shredded mozzerella underneath  the vegetables allows the juices from the vegetables to moisten the cheese, but that moisture tends to separate out when it gets cold, and the cheese becomes tough. It's not inedible at that point, but it's just not as good. I tend to make a half-sized batch (same amount of onion, garlic and oregano, but half of the rest) in a loaf pan, because I can't finish a full-sized batch in one sitting.

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