Pictured: Matzo Brittle recipe from CHOW

It’s Passover, that time of year to gather round the table for a family Seder with rubbery jelly rings, Grandma’s oversalted matzo ball soup, and Mom’s sawdusty brisket. This is the year that you keep the family and jettison the subpar food. Here are a few choices to kick your Passover into high gear—after all, we didn’t flee Egypt to eat poorly, did we?

1. Hungarian Chocolate-Walnut Torte


This naturally gluten-free cake is dense, fudgy, and perfect for both kids and adults. Don’t be afraid to spike the whipped cream with a little kosher-for-Passover booze if your Seder is adults-only. Get our Hungarian Chocolate-Walnut Torte recipe.

2. Matzo Brei with Roasted Cherries


Because family does not live on dinner alone. This sweet scrambled egg dish is perfect for breakfast, and if you aren’t in the mood for vanilla-scented cherries, serve it with sour cream and hot sauce! Get our Matzo Brei with Roasted Cherries recipe.

3. Sauce Gribiche

Fritos and Foie Gras

Sure, everyone has that fluorescent pink horseradish at their Seders, but why don’t you serve your gefilte fish with something a little more subtle? This sauce gribiche is spiked with capers, dill, and tarragon. It’s fragrant and savory without the nasal-searing quality of horseradish and lets the fish’s natural flavor stand on its own. Get my recipe here.

4. Gefilte Fish


These traditional whitefish quenelles are labor intensive, but the mild flavor and soft, ethereal texture make the work worthwhile. You will never go back to jarred again after trying these poached fish cakes. Get our Gefilte Fish recipe.

5. Bitter Herb Cocktail

Tori Avey

If you aren’t super strict about following all of the rules of Passover, you can indulge in this bitter herbs cocktail. Though the Fernet Branca is not stricty kosher for Passover, it does make for a parsley-infused bitter herb cocktail that is so tasty it might be worth it to bend the rules just this once. Get the recipe here.

6. Mississippi Praline Macaroons


Chag Pesach, y’all! This traditional Southern treat is chametz-free by design, and the addition of pecans and brown sugar makes you feel like the Holy Land and the American South are closer together than ever before. Get our Mississippi Praline Macaroons recipe.

7. Smoked Salmon Hash with Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette


This breakfast/lunch/dinner dish riffs on corned beef hash with that Jewish family favorite: smoked salmon. Serve it with a runny egg for the perfect brunch dish any day of the year. Get our Smoked Salmon Hash with Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette recipe.

8. Roasted Moroccan Carrots with Brisket

Comfy Belly

Celebrate Sephardic heritage with these fragrant and spicy roasted carrots served with juicy, onion-smothered brisket. Serve with a side of fiery harissa if you can handle the heat! Get the recipe here.

9. Wise Sons Deli Matzo Balls


The perfect matzo balls need club soda, schmaltz, and your grandma’s chicken broth. Make double the amount that you think you’ll need—these are going to go FAST. Get our Wise Sons Deli Matzo Balls recipe.

Sarah Spigelman Richter is a New York City–based writer, blogger, and social media manager. She has developed recipes for Tabasco, blogs about her favorite restaurants and recipes at Fritos and Foie Gras, and can be found, most Friday nights, watching “Arrested Development” reruns.
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