Passover is right around the corner. And while the Seder is the first meal that commemorates the beginning of the Jewish holiday, there are still another eight days of celebration to enjoy. The Seder consists of a traditional meal, ritualized with symbolic foods such as horseradish, haroset and more. The other days beyond the Seder leave a little more room for creativity, as long as they adhere to Kosher dietary rules. One of our favorites to feast on during Passover is an Eastern European classic that’s both hearty and refreshing–borscht. In addition to beets, certain Eastern European varieties of borscht call for using beef and milk or sour cream. However, due to Kosher laws, the Jewish adaption of the recipes can utilize either meat or dairy, but not both at the same time. The version we’ll be doing today excludes any meat and instead gets its simple but delicious flavors from beets, onions and a bit of sour cream.
When we think of borscht, the obvious thing that comes to mind are beets.Beets are slightly sweet with a deep, robust earthy flavor and soft, cooked carrot-like texture. Not to mention, their brilliant red-violet hue adds gorgeous color to any dish. Unlike the ever-so-popular vegetables like potatoes, beets are somewhat of a polarizing ingredient with a great divide between those who love them and those who turn their nose up at them. However, you can try to turn the beet around (pardon our pun, we just had to go there) by introducing them in not only borscht, but also roasting them in the oven along with other root vegetables or pickling them in the refrigerator.
Yields: 8 servings
- 2 lbs of beets
- 4 onions, chopped
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 5 cups of water
- 1/4 of white distilled vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- Sour cream, for garnish
- Parsley, for garnish
1. Start by washing the beets and then placing them into a large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes.
2. While the beets are simmering, saute the onions in a large pan until they are softened and translucent. Remove from the heat and set aside for later.
3. Drain the beets and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Once the beets have cooled, use your fingers to slip the skin off from the beets. Chop them into small cubes.
4. In a food processor or blender, puree the 5 cups of water and beets together until the mixture is smooth. Add the lemon juice, vinegar and brown sugar and stir thoroughly.
5. You may eat the borscht either warm or chilled. Serve it alongside a separate bowl of sour cream and parsley sprigs for garnish.
Have you ever had borscht before? What are some other dishes you like to make at home during Passover?