A friend was kvetching to me about what to do with her leftover hametz, the collective term used for foods that are forbidden for consumption on Passover. She wanted to get rid of the whole wheat pita and sliced bread in her freezer, as well as some leftover beans she was considering planting in her garden.
Over the centuries, the list foods banned on Passover have come to be interpreted by scholars in different ways throughout the Jewish world. While my friend doesn’t touch beans on Passover, another friend, whose parents hail from Turkey and Morocco, grew up in a home where rice and beans were permissible, as they are throughout most of the Sephardic world. But she now follows her Ashkenazi husband’s tradition where legumes and even sesame and poppy seeds are considered forbidden foods.
I was tempted by the hametz challenge, and came up with these creative ways for using up those leftover bits of leavened stuff. If you’re still contemplating the breads, beans and other legumes in your pantry, try one of these recipes, and your larder will eventually be welcomingly bare.
Skordalia (makes about 1.5 cups)
Skordalia is a dip or sauce of Greek origin, served in one version or another throughout the villages and islands of Greece. Based on cooked potatoes or bread, olive oil and garlic — sometimes with the addition of almonds or walnuts — and seasoned with olive oil and vinegar, it can also be served over fish or with steamed vegetables.
- 3 slices of stale (or fresh) bread, preferably whole wheat
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup walnuts
- Half teaspoon salt
- ¾-1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- Remove the crust from the bread and soak in warm water until soft. Squeeze to drain water.
- Use a mortar and pestle or a small food processor to grind the garlic with the salt, a tablespoon of olive oil and walnuts to a paste, then rip the bread into pieces, and add to the processor and grind again. With the processor running, add the rest of the oil and the vinegar in a steady stream until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.
Homemade Lentil Sprout Salad (4 servings)
An absolutely delicious way to use up lentils of any color (except orange), and/or mung beans.
- 2 cups lentil sprouts
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 ½ cups mixed parsley, mint and cilantro
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Place ¾ cup of lentils and ¼ cup of mung beans (or more lentils) in a bowl and cover with water. Cover and let stand several hours or overnight. Strain through a wire-mesh strainer, place the strainer over a bowl and leave in the kitchen.
- Rinse and drain the lentils two to three times a day until they sprout a short tail (often within 24 hours). Transfer to a paper towel-lined storage container, cover and refrigerate up to four days.
- Mix the sprouts and the rest of the ingredients together, toss and serve.
The recipe is adapted from “Bishul Bari” (“Healthy Cooking”) by Phyllis Glazer (Modan Publishers)
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.