Passover Inspiration- Braised Greens with Charoset

Though starting a business in a seemingly tame side of the cooking profession, I love the challenge of creating tasty, seasonal and varied menus for my clients while adhering to each households’ particular tastes and diets.  I’m always developing new recipes based on specific requests… it’s what keeps me motivated and creative.

This past week I was called upon to cook meals for Passover that not only followed the Kosher for Passover, ‘kfp’ guidelines but were also vegan.  I took this on with gusto (kale stuffed mushrooms, with matzo meal, anyone?) , but the real excitement came when I was welcomed back to stock the fridge with more ‘kfp’ meals for the rest of the week, mainly using up leftovers.

Enter charoset.  I was told there was plenty left and that its a mixture of apples, dates, nuts and wine.  Though only vaguely having heard of this, immediately I was inspired.  Three years ago, while working the line at Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder, CO, we had Nate Appleman in as a guest chef.   I watched him slow-cook radicchio, raisins and pinenuts down to an intense, sweet, rustic Italian compote.   With this memory, I was ready to make the charoset sing the songs of sweet Moses.

Over medium heat I slowly carmelized the onions with a hit of salt and sliced garlic.  I cooked the red cabbage until it was starting to wilt, then added  cleaned and chopped escarole.  Escarole is something that’s meant to be cooked for a while.  Lachlan MacKinnon- Patterson once came up to me on the entremetier station and said “Chef, this escarole, this right now is like what a cow would eat… You need to cook it way, way more”.   Alas, when the escarole had turned from roughage to haute-cuisine, I stirred in the charoset, and cooked it some more.  Finished with some ‘kfp’ balsamic and lemon and it was ready to be served with the horseradish mashed potatoes, with a little fresh horseradish grated over the top.

Magic.  Culinary magic.

Braised Greens with Charoset

  • 2T olive oil,
  •  1 yellow onion (sliced)
  •  1/2 red onion (sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (sliced)
  •  1/2 head chopped red cabbage
  • 1 head chopped escarole
  • 1/2 c Charoset
  • 1 T balsamic
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper