Invite online faces to a Pesach ‘bruncheon’


This year, I’m not going overboard. Everything has changed in the era of corona, Pesach included. Yet we must celebrate, even if we are the lone attendee.

I realize people don’t seem up to it. Shopping for ingredients will be difficult, and faces normally present around our holiday tables won’t be there. But it is a festival of freedom, after all, and we need to declare Jewish freedom in the time of a real plague.

It’s estimated that more than 80 percent of Jews worldwide attend a Passover seder. We will read our Haggadahs and savor traditional dishes, like Bubbe’s brisket and chicken soup. Freedom must be cherished, family must be cherished, food must be cherished.

And after the seders, why not “host” a virtual Sunday “bruncheon?” Email invitations and send the menu to family and friends ahead of time. Halve the recipes, or reduce them even more. Then, on Sunday, April 12, set up your devices and enjoy virtual guests at your table.

For the dishes below, look through your existing supplies.

Any white wine will due for the Prosecco; it doesn’t need to be sparkling. No need for salmon; use whatever fish you have in the freezer or can purchase in the next week. Forget kumquats; try a clementine or orange, then spike the drink with a splash of orange juice. Make an uncomplicated dessert. In a pinch, a fruit salad will do; topped with a dollop of the chocolate sauce, it can be sensational.

If anything, we need to maintain our sense of humor. After all, we Jews have been doing that for thousands of years.

Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach!


Boca Bellinis

Honey-Glazed Salmon With Kumquat Salsa

Jicama Mango Salad

Herb-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Fresh Pineapple Kugel

Orange Sponge Pudding With Blackberries

Blood-Orange Segments (or Other Fruit) With Simply Sinful Chocolate Sauce

Boca Bellinis (Pareve)

Serves 8

Cook’s Tips:

•Squeeze lime juice the day before.

•Turn glasses upside down, dip edges first in orange juice, then in sugar.

•Use disposable champagne glasses.


1 oz orange juice

Sugar to dredge

3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 bottle Prosecco, chilled


Using orange juice and sugar, prepare glasses as above. Chill until ready to serve.

Pour about 2 tsp. lime juice in each glass. Top with Prosecco.

Serve immediately.

Honey-Glazed Salmon (Pareve)

Serves 8

Cook’s Tips:

•Buy salmon fillets, with skin attached. Salmon will be more moist and flavorful than skinless.

•Line baking pan with aluminum foil.


1/4 cup honey, warmed

3 Tbsp. lemon juice

8 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each, boneless

2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil

fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a cup, whisk together the honey and lemon juice. Set aside.

Arrange salmon, skin side down, about 1/2-inch apart, in a baking pan or rimmed cookie sheet.

Brush with olive oil, then with the honey mixture. Sprinkle with pepper.

Bake 25 minutes or until flakes are opaque when separated with a fork.

May be served at room temperature.

Kumquat (or Orange) Salsa (Pareve)

Makes about 2 cups

Kumquats are miniature citrus fruits resembling small oval oranges. No need to remove seeds. They’re soft, chewy and edible.

Cook’s Tips:

•Chopped ginger is available frozen in markets.


2 cups kumquats, halved

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. vinegar

2 Tbsp. orange juice

1/4 cup cilantro, finely snipped

1 Tbsp. chopped ginger root

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


Place kumquats (or oranges), sugar, vinegar and orange juice in a microwave safe bowl. Cover lightly with wax paper.

Microwave for 2 minutes on High or until kumquats are slightly softened.

Transfer to food processor. Process until coarsely chopped.

In a bowl, mix together the kumquats and remaining ingredients.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Jicama and Mango Salad (Pareve)

Serves 8

Jicama is a large, bulbous, thin-skinned root vegetable. Eaten raw, it adds a sweet, crunchiness to salads.

Cook’s Tips:

•Substitute dried cranberries for raisins; they add some color.

•Substitute a very small pinch of cayenne pepper for serrano pepper.

•Cut mango into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes.


4 cups peeled, diced jicama

3 cups peeled, diced mango

1 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup orange juice

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 serrano pepper, seeded


Gently toss the jicama, mango and raisins in a large bowl. Set aside. In the blender, whirl the juices, oil and pepper until pepper is thoroughly blended. Pour over the jicama mixture and toss. Serve chilled.

Herb-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (Pareve)

Serves 8

Cook’s Tips:

•Use dried rosemary and thyme instead of fresh. 1 tsp. dried to 1 Tbsp. fresh.

•Lemon juice drizzled over cooked potatoes intensifies herb flavors.

•If using fresh rosemary leaves, discard woody stems.

•May need to use two baking sheets.

•Potatoes are ready when a pointed knife slips out easily.


2-1/2 to 3 pounds fingerling potatoes, washed

3 to 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. finely snipped fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp. finely snipped thyme

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thinly coat baking sheet with olive oil. Cut potatoes in 1-inch to 1½-inch chunks and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary, thyme and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat.

Spread potatoes in one layer. Cover with aluminum foil.

Roast for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Remove foil, toss potatoes and continue roasting for 15 to 30 minutes longer, or until potatoes are tender. Serve hot or warm.

Note: Make an hour or so ahead of time. Transfer to ovenproof serving dish, cover with aluminum foil. Warm in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Fresh Pineapple Kugel (Dairy)

Serves 8 to 10

Delicious, hot, cold or at room temperature.

Cook’s Tips:

•Coarsely chop fresh pineapple chunks in food processor.

•To prevent stickiness in kosher-for-Passover cooked noodles, run cold water through them and drain thoroughly.


2/3 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. cinnamon, divided

5 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup peanut oil, plus oil for coating dish

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups fresh pineapple, coarsely chopped

1 (16 oz.) jar chunky applesauce

8 oz. noodles, cooked according to package directions


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat a 9x12 inch baking dish with peanut oil.

In a cup, mix 2 Tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add ¼ cup peanut oil, sour cream, pineapple, applesauce, ⅔ cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Stir in noodles and mix well.

Transfer to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake in preheated oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until firm in center when touched lightly with fingers. Cut into squares while warm.

May be frozen.

Orange Sponge Pudding With Fresh Blackberries (Dairy)

Serves 6

Recipe may be doubled for this rich dessert.


3 eggs, divided

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup honey, warmed

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1/4 cup matzah cake meal

1/4 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. frozen thawed orange juice concentrate

1 cup fresh blackberries to garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 6 custard cups with nonstick vegetable spray. Place cups in a 9-inch square baking dish. Set aside.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites, and place in separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites until they peak softly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and milk. Add the honey, butter, cake meal, salt and orange-juice concentrate. Mix well to blend. Gently fold in the egg whites, leaving some lumps.

Divide equally between the prepared custard cups. Carefully pour hot water into the baking dish to come about halfway up the sides of the cups.

Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes, or until top is golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

To serve: Place on a pretty dessert plate with blackberries on the side. Serve at room temperature.

Easy Sinful Chocolate Sauce (Dairy)

Makes about 2 cups

Cook’s Tips:

•May make a week ahead and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving

•Chop chocolate in food processor.


1 cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp. butter

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. orange extract


In a saucepan over low heat, melt the cream and butter, stirring often. Raise heat to medium, and add the chocolate and cinnamon. Stir until melted and smooth.

Stir in the orange extract. Remove from heat. Serve warm.