Although the Bible orders us to feast, the cooks in the house need food that is easy to prepare, especially on Passover eve. Mushrooms have always been a focus of Jewish food and this foragers’ pie would be perfect for a pre-seder meal, when eating matzo and other flours is forbidden and the Passover meal is still hours away. This dish will also suit vegetarians as a main course for Passover.
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, such as red or Yukon gold, peeled and cut into large chunks
about 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock (enough to cover the potatoes)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium or 4 large onions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 3/4 lbs fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 large organic free-range eggs
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the potatoes in a large pan, pour in the vegetable stock to cover, and boil until tender. Drain, keeping 3 tablespoons of stock, and return to the pan. Mash thoroughly with the stock, season well, and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, gently cook the onions in the oil until soft but not colored. Add the mushrooms and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the parsley and season well. Spoon the mixture into the base of a deep 2-quart baking dish.
Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the potato mixture, beating in well. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the potato mixture. Pile the potatoes on top of the mushrooms and bake in the oven for 1 hour until golden brown on top. Serve with a large watercress, orange, and walnut salad.
For a bit of heat, add 1 finely chopped chile to the mushroom mixture. For a more substantial vegetarian main course, add a layer of roasted peppers and eggplant. You can also add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese to the potato mixture (or simply grate it over the top), which will make the dish milchig.
From Jewish Traditional Cooking: Over 150 Nostalgic & Contemporary Recipes by Ruth Joseph and Simon Round. Text © 2012 Ruth Joseph and Simon Round; photographs © 2012 Isobel Wield. Published in 2013 by Kyle Books, an imprint of Kyle Cathie Limited.
How would you rate Foragers’ Pie?
This is an easy meal to make, but one should only make it if you have no desire for an enjoyable meal with good flavor.