Food & Drink

Passover Recipes From Washington DC Chefs

March 13, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Firefly

Photo Credit: Firefly

Passover is an important Jewish holiday which allows observers to celebrate and appreciate their ancestors. During Passover, Jews try and eat the foods that represent Jewish history. This means that observers cannot consume any leavened or fermented food for an eight-day period. Here are several recipes for dishes that are in line with guidelines of traditional Passover cuisine. These dishes are guaranteed to make your Passover seder special and memorable.

Chef de Cuisine Todd Wiss (Photo Credit: Firefly)

Chef de Cuisine Todd Wiss (Photo Credit: Firefly)

Chef Todd Wiss
1310 New Hampshire Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 861-1310

Although he recently joined Firefly, Chef Wiss has brought a deep-rooted drive and enthusiasm for creating delicious and sustainable food. His experiences at Poste Modern Brassiere and Radius Pizza have provided him with the experience to be a knowledgeable and talented Chef de Cuisine. He has provided a festive salad recipe for Passover, with kale as the key ingredient. The kale has special significance as it represents the maror, bitter herbs which are served at a traditional Passover seder. This dish is two recipes in one, as it also includes a recipe for smoked pumpkin seeds which are used as a garnish for the salad.


  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cup blended oil
  • 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp roasted garlic
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Kale
  • Apples
  • Smoked pumpkin seeds


  1. Combine apple cider vinegar, mustard, roasted garlic, honey, salt and pepper, thyme and oil slowly. Adjust consistency with water if needed.
  2. Julienne the apples.
  3. Chop your desired amount of kale finely, toss lightly with vinaigrette and add julienne honey crisp apples.
  4. Add smoked pumpkin seeds (recipe below).


  • 1 can pumpkin seeds toasted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 Tbsp ground cinnamon


  1. Toast pumpkin seeds in oven on a sheet tray at 300° F.
  2. While seeds are still hot, toss with spices.
  3. Place seeds in perforated hotel pan and place in a smoker.
  4. Smoke for 2-3 hours, and check. Should be smoky in flavor.
  5. Cool on sheet trays and place in airtight quart containers.

Related: Best Pumpkin Dishes In DC

Chef Barry Koslow
DGS Delicatessen
1317 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 293-4400

Chef Koslow brings a wealth of experience to DGS, having served as a chef at Equinox, Citronelle and 2941, some of the best restaurants in the DC area. He works diligently to serve quality food that is satisfying and wholesome. At DGS, he focuses his craft on creating dishes which represent his Jewish heritage. Below is a recipe for his famous braised lamb shanks, which can be served as an entree at Passover seder.


  • 5 lbs lamb shanks
  • Flour for dredging
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 cup medium-diced carrots
  • 1 cup medium-diced onions
  • 1 cup medium-diced celery
  • 2 to 3 whole star anise
  • 10 cloves crushed garlic
  • 4 Tbsp cumin seed
  • 4 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 4 Tbsp harissa
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dried figs (stems removed)
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 qts beef broth
  • 2 lbs fresh spinach
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint (garnish)
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp.= chopped fresh parsley (garnish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium heat. Season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge lamb lightly in flour. Sear lamb in oil until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the lamb to a plate. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.
  2. Add the vegetables to the pan. Season with salt. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the aromatics are soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add star anise, garlic, cinnamon sticks, harissa, tomato paste and chopped dried figs, and cook, stirring, until well distributed and fragrant.
  3. Pour the red wine into the pot and deglaze, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is reduced by half.
  4. Transfer the lamb and any juices that have accumulated back into the pot. Pour the red wine, tomatoes and beef stock over the lamb.
  5. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and place in oven. Cook, 2 1/2 to 3 hours until meat is fork tender, transfer the meat and reduce the liquid until it thickens, pass through a fine mesh strainer, and discard solids.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Steam spinach, season with salt and pepper and keep on the side.
  8. Add spinach, mint and parsley at the last minute.

Related: Best Kosher Food In DC

Chefs Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne
Georgetown Cupcake
3301 M St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-8448

Sisters Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne opened up Georgetown Cupcake in 2008, a cupcakery that has obtained wild popularity in the DC area. Abandoning their successful careers, these siblings took a leap of faith which was well worth it. Although famous for their delicious cupcakes, they have developed a sweet and perfect Passover macaroon to commemorate the Passover holiday. It is available in their stores during Passover, or you find the recipe below and make it at home year-round.


  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened if preferred)
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the condensed milk. Add the vanilla extract to the condensed milk mixture and stir until the seeds are well blended.
  3. Pour the egg whites into a glass bowl and add the salt. Beat the egg whites on high speed using a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.
  4. Pour the coconut into a large bowl, and add the condensed milk mixture. Fold the mixture together.
  5. Fold in the egg whites.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop balls onto parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until macaroons are golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at

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