Mock chopped ‘liver’ and tzimmes are healthy Seder additions

Intro by Pam George | Photograph by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the April 2022 issue


When Anita Smulyan and her husband, Samuel, were touring beach homes in 2006, they asked the real estate agent if the area had an active Jewish community. “I think there is a Jewish center on Holland Glade Road,” he replied. 

Samuel wondered if the agent was bluffing to make the sale, but the Cherry Hill, N.J., couple, who wound up purchasing a Lewes-area home, soon learned of the Seaside Jewish Community, founded in 1997. “We became very entrenched in Seaside,” says Anita, whose husband died in 2020. “It’s a wonderful thing to have that sense of community.” 

In January of this year, Seaside welcomed Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan as its first full-time leader, making this Pass-over season special. The Jewish holiday runs from Friday, April 15, to Saturday, April 23.

Also called Pesach, Passover marks the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. According to the Book of Exodus, the pharaoh ordered the Jews to leave the country after the Angel of Death killed the firstborn child in each household — except for those in Hebrew homes. The Jews had marked their doors with lamb’s blood so the angel would “pass over” their houses.

The Seder is a ritual feast to honor and retell the story on the first night of Passover. People set their tables with fine silver and china, and participants take turns reading the Haggadah, the narrative of the exodus. “You go through the story, rituals and ceremonies, and then you have your meal,” Anita explains.

The energetic cook typically starts with gefilte fish (poached fish dumplings) or chopped liver. But because she has health-conscious family members, she now makes a vegetarian version of the liver that passes for the real deal. Matzo ball soup, brisket, noodle kugel and a sweet-potato-and-carrot dish with prunes — tzimmes — are also staples.

You don’t need to wait for Passover — or be Jewish — to try these recipes at home. Like matzo ball soup and brisket, they have a universal appeal.






(Serves 8)

14.5-ounce can of green beans

1⁄4 cup of oil

3 large onions, sliced

5 hard-boiled eggs

2 cups of walnuts

Salt and pepper

STEP 1 Saute onions in oil at low heat for up to two hours to caramelize them.

STEP 2 Drain the green beans, making sure to remove as much liquid as possible.

STEP 3 Using a food processor, process the walnuts until they become thick (like creamy peanut butter). Then, add the green beans and caramelized onions and process.

STEP 4 Add four eggs to the processor, one egg at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste.

STEP 5 Place the mixture in a serving bowl and finely grate the remaining egg on top as a garnish.

STEP 6 Chill overnight.

To serve, spoon onto a platter and surround with colorful veggies and matzo.







(Serves 10-12 as part of a meal)

3 pounds of sweet potatoes (about four large), peeled and cut into chunks

2 pounds of medium carrots, cut into half-inch chunks 

1 12-ounce package of pitted dried plums (prunes), halved

1⁄2 cup of golden raisins

1 cup of orange juice

1 cup of water

1⁄4 cup of honey

1⁄4 cup of packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1⁄4 cup dairy-free margarine or butter

STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish, combine sweet potatoes, carrots, plums and golden raisins. 

STEP 2 Combine orange juice, water, honey, brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour over vegetables.

STEP 3 Cover and bake for one hour. Uncover and dot with butter. Bake until vegetables are tender and sauce is thickened, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.