Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.
I’m all for tradition, but when it comes to the sedarim (ceremonial dinner the first two Pesach nights), sometimes I just gotta tweak the meal. Year after year after year after year it’s the same “must serve it or the peasants will revolt” Pesach menu: Turkey one night, rib roast the next and all the same side dishes and desserts that will be there until Moshiach comes. So every once in awhile I try to slip in a new dish to put that extra pinch of spice into the meal.
This year I decided to go citrusy and the coin toss went to the lime. Limes are available year around and are typically used as an accent flavor. Most of the time we’re going to get the Persian lime (looks like a lemon, only green and smaller). Their acid content is higher than a lemon so their taste is more citrusy and intense. Tahitian limes and Key limes are smaller, more acidic, more expensive and less readily available. So if you find them and you want to use them, know you’re going to have to pay lots more. With what you’ve probably already laid out for the rest of your meals, well, you do the math.
When buying your limes, pick ones with smooth skins. Avoid ones with brown spots or that looked dried out. A lime should be heavy for its size and give slightly when pressed. Whole fresh limes will last about 10 days when refrigerated and about five days when cut. You will need more than you think as they don’t have much juice in them and getting the zest off is an exercise in frustration. Keep trying though–the bottled stuff just doesn’t do any recipe justice.
The recipes below are super simple, can be made ahead of time and can be served anytime of the year.
LIME & HONEY CHIPOLTE GLAZED SWEET POTATOES (pareve)
5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in half crosswise, then cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted margarine
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400. Place the sweet potato wedges in a large bowl. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with the 1 tablespoon margarine and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1/2 cup margarine. Whisk in the chipotle powder and then add the honey, lime juice, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue simmering for 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes and toss until coated.
Place the potato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzling any remaining glaze over the potatoes. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Roast, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and baste the potatoes. Continue to bake, basting every 10 minutes, for about 20 minutes longer until tender, golden brown. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a low oven for up to 30 minutes. Baste just before serving.
Serves 8 to 10.
Do ahead: The sweet potatoes can be roasted up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate, cover, and bring to room temperature 2 hours before reheating. Alternatively, they can be roasted up to 4 hours in advance and set aside at room temperature. Reheat before serving, basting with the glaze.
Modified from The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan.
SPINACH AND LIME SALAD (pareve or dairy)
5 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 5 cups)
1 can artichoke hearts, sliced and drained
1/2 cup dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts or walnuts
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
ground pepper, to taste
Toss spinach with artichoke, cranberries, pine nuts, avocado and feta cheese in a large salad bowl.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss spinach salad with dressing and serve.
ZESTY LIME MANGO AND PAPAYA SALAD (pareve)
3 limes, zested and juiced (keep the zest and juice separate)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup pecan pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
2 to 3 mangos, peeled and sliced
2 to 3 papayas, peeled and sliced
4 kiwi, peeled and sliced
Place the apple slices in the lime juice.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the lime zest, sugar and salt. Process until combined.
Remove the sugar mixture to a bowl and add the pecan pieces. Toss to coat.
Arrange apple, kiwi, mango, and papaya slices on a serving platter or plates. Sprinkle with some of the sugared lime pecan mixture and serve.
Serves 6 to 8.
RASPBERRY LIME PARFAIT (pareve)
1 cup sugar
1 cup pareve whipping cream
5 large eggs
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh lime zest
2 cups cookie crumbs (any vanilla Passover cookie will do)
3 cups raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, pareve whipping cream, eggs, lime juice and zest. Cook over a medium heat, whisking frequently to prevent sticking for about 20 minutes. It should thicken slightly (It will set up more as it cools). Remove it from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, over a low heat, cook 1 cup raspberries and sugar, mashing with a fork and stirring occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
Set out 8 parfait glasses. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the cookie crumbs into the bottom of each parfait glass. Spoon several tablespoons of the lime custard into each of the glasses. Spoon a teaspoon or so of the raspberry sauce on top and then repeat the process. Top with the remaining raspberries.
My files, source unknown.
MELONS WITH ORANGE LIME DRESSING (pareve)
2 limes, juice and rind
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cantaloupe, sliced into wedges
1 honeydew melon, sliced into wedges
2 to 3 cans mandarin orange slices, drained
In a bowl, combine lime zest, juice, orange juice concentrate, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Set it aside. Place the melon slices on a platter and sprinkle the mandarin orange slices over the top. Drizzle the sauce over the melon slices and serve.
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, kosher.com and OU Life. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for several publications. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking Cuisine by Eileen.