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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Let the Seder plate determine the menu

Cooking for Passover is like finding out that your vegan dinner guest is also gluten allergic. Jewish specialties can be heavy, and for the upcoming holiday, which begins on March 25 and lasts for eight days, there are many restrictions about grains and other foods.

I wanted to create a Passover menu that stayed true to the holiday’s roots, with the point of departure being the traditional Seder plate. In this symbolic offering, there is a bone (to signify the Passover sacrifice of a lamb at the Temple in Jerusalem), hard-cooked egg (a symbol of mourning), parsley (when dipped in saltwater, this represents the tears of the enslaved Israelites), charoset (an applesauce-like mixture with raisins and nuts to symbolize mortar), and horseradish (the bitterness of slavery). So the idea was to cook a bony dish, an eggy dish, a dish that celebrates parsley, and so on. The infrastructure was all there, and if approached correctly, even matzo can be alluring.

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