Friday, April 25, 2008

Passover, Post the Fourth

What the hell does a vegan put on matzo? If you're me, everything.

Cream cheese was always my go-to matzo spread, but that's no longer an option. Peanut butter is out, so I tried almond butter this year but didn't really care for it (I don't like peanut butter either). Jelly made it a little better (less sticky), but I still didn't like it much, so I thought it'd be best to make my own spread and decided on the Roasted Garlic Artichoke Spread with Fresh Oregano from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Here's a picture of it on it's way into my belly:

As written, the dish should take about an hour to make and should yield great, garlicky, artichokey goodness. But I couldn't find canned artichoke hearts that were kosher for Passover (and didn't even know they can be bought frozen), so I bought ten fresh artichokes and had to prep them before making the spread.

I used this page as a guideline to prepping my artichokes, putting about half a lemon, two crushed garlic cloves and a few shakes of dried parsley in the steamer water. I was using a relatively shallow pot, so the lid was slightly ajar, filling the whole house with the fragrance of the steam. I think I should keep a pot of that on the stove at all times. Seriously. It's such a great aroma.

After they steamed for 35 minutes, I pulled off all the leaves (it didn't occur to me until I was writing this to stick them in cold water before doing that, so it was slow going since I kept dropping the hot artichokes back into the bowl), set them aside to eat tomorrow, chopped up the hearts and made the spread.

Delicious? Indubitably. Spread? Not so much. It'd make a great pizza topping (there's something very pizza-esque about the taste; I think it's the dried oregano), but doesn't really stick to things like matzo, and I wanted a spread, dammit, so I broke out the potato masher and smashed the crap out of the artichoke pieces. Viola! Instead spread.

The next day, I broke out my copy of Vegan With a Vengeance and made the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Garlic, which was super easy and fast to make, even when I left the sprouts in the oven a longer than suggested because I like everything super well done. I thought they'd get brown, but they didn't. Weird.

They taste good, but slightly bitter and horseradishy. Maybe that's because they'd been sitting in my fridge for a while, or I just didn't cook them long enough. I'll be reheating them in the oven before I eat them next, so they'll get a bit more cook time (and brownness) that way. As they are, I don't think I'd eat a bowl full of them alone (unlike the Cornmeal-Masala Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Veganomicon), but they'll be great with dinner tonight. They're also great on matzo, over the Roasted Garlic Artichoke Spread.

It's quite possible that this may be my last Passover post (four posts for eight days - not bad), but I'm not sure yet, so I'll leave you with the suspense of not knowing. Ha!

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