Today marks only a few days before the start of Passover, and Easter is right around the next corner–it’s time to cook for the holidays! Since the HH and I are invited to a friend’s house for a seder this year (and since her niece is a vegetarian), I decided to bring a dish that normally makes an appearance on Passover tables: chopped liver. My version, of course, is “mock.”
Well, believe it or not, this time I’m not creating a vegan version of a meat I ate as a kid; this spread is the very same one that my mother made for us countless times when I was young, despite her having an unlimited supply of meat available via My Dad the Butcher (I told you she was a closet vegetarian).
I seem to remember this Mock Chopped Liver recipe originating from a cookbook Mom had called Second Helpings, Please!, but when I leafed through my old copy, I couldn’t find it. I did find a remarkably similar version to the one I remember on Nava Atlas’s Veg Kitchen site, however. Nava’s version seems to be almost identical to my mom’s, with two important differences: my mother’s used canned green beans instead of fresh (in particular, a type called “French Cut,” which was specified in her recipe); and whereas Nava uses cashews, my mom used walnuts. I decided to split the difference and use half of each type of nut (and walnuts result in a deeper brown color than cashews, more like the authentic spread).
Whether or not you like (or have even ever tasted) chopped liver, this spread is a perfect topping for crackers, celery sticks or collard leaves–but, unfortunately, not matzo. You see, my good intentions were dashed when I realized that beans are not allowed at Passover–and the main ingredient in this spread is beans! (If you observe Passover, you can try this other mock chopped liver on Nava’s site, which uses mushrooms instead).
To the HH, who grew up on liverwurst, this spread tastes “nothing like real liver.” And yet, it looks eerily like the “real thing,” with the same rich, smooth flavor imparted by onions, fried until caramelized (the hallmark of chopped liver).
And since it is the holidays with both Passover and Easter falling within days of each other, I’m also including a quick reference list of some holiday-themed recipes for those of you still thinking about what to cook (see bottom of this post).
Mock Chopped Liver (suitable for ACD Stage 1 and beyond)
adapted from Nava Atlas
Whether or not you like the “real thing,” this is a great spread for sandwiches, crackers, or veggies. I’ve added paprika and walnuts to the original recipe and decided to stick with the canned beans for a more authentic hue, but feel free to use freshly steamed if you prefer.
2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 can (19 ounces or 400 ml) cooked green beans, well drained
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
sliced green onion for garnish, if desired
Heat the oil in a nonstick frypan and add the onions; fry over medium-low heat, stirring frequenty, until they are well browned and beginning to caramelize, 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, place all the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
Once the onions are done, add them to the processor and blend until everything is smooth. Scrape into a bowl or container and allow to cool to room temperature before servings. Garnish with green onions, if desired. Makes about 2 cups (480 ml). Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
HOLIDAY RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:
I’ve designated each recipe with B (either Passover or Easter) or E (Easter only). 😀
Appetizers and H’ors D’oeuvres:
- (E) Carrot Pâté ( Pâté is GF; for ACD version, use apple cider vinegar)
- (E) Country Pâté
- (B) Roasted Red Pepper and Apple Dip
- (E) Arame and Edamame Salad (not ACD friendly)
- (B) Potato Bruschetta
- (B) Crimson Salad with Pecans and Pumpkin Seeds
- (E) Asparagus, Pea Shoot and Pea Salad
- (B) Greens with Hearts of Palm and Pine Nuts
- (B) Quinoa and Wild Rice Salad (wild rice is actually a seed, not a grain, so should be fine for Passover; but omit the corn)
- (B) Sweet Potato and Ginger Salad (for ACD, use lemon instead of orange juice)
- (B) Spiced Cauliflower Soup (for Passover, use unsweetened almond milk instead of soymilk)
- (E) Fresh Corn Soup
- (E) Caramelized Baby Bok Choy with Cashews and Sesame Seeds (for ACD, use coconut sugar instead of Sucanat)
- (B) Creamy Coconut Collards
- (E) Rutabaga Gratin
- (B) Twice-Baked Potatoes with “Sour Cream” and Herbs (for Passover, use sunflower seed butter instead of tahini)
- (E) Corn Crêpes with Quick Tomato Tracklement (not ACD friendly; not GF)
- (B) “Linguine” Bolognese with Marinara Sauce (for Passover: omit miso and Bragg’s and use almond butter instead)
- (B) Portobello “Steaks” (not ACD friendly)
- (E) Tempeh “Bourguignon”
- (E) Zucchini Pie
- (E) Butter Berry Cake Bars
- (B) Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream (no ice cream maker required)
- (E) Chocolate Pumpkin Pots de Creme
- (E) Coco-Nut Shortbread Buttons
- (B) Strawberry Creme Easter Eggs (or truffles if for Passover)
- (B) Coconut Macaroons (nice dipped in chocolate)
- (B) Decadent Chocolate Pâté (not ACD friendly)
- (E) Marble Cake (not ACD friendly; not GF)
- (E) Raspberry Coconut Coffee Cake (not ACD friendly; not GF)
- (E) Lemon Cheesecake (not ACD friendly; not GF)
- (B) Baked Sweet Potato Rounds with Sweet Almond Sauce
- (E) Carob and Date Pancakes (not ACD friendly; not GF)
- (E) Earth Bowl Breakfast (for ACD, use unsweetened cranberry juice instead of orange juice)
- (E) French Toast Soufflé with Summer Berries (not ACD friendly; for GF, use GF bread)
- (B) Groovy Green Smoothie (for Passover, use hemp protein powder in place of rice)
- (E) Pan-Seared Oatmeal Wedges with Warm Plum Sauce
- (E) Two-Toned Potato Pancakes (latkes) (not ACD friendly; not GF)
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