When you’re away from home, eating kosher can be difficult. You might be able to find a suitable restaurant nearby, but maybe not. For many of the people I know, it’s easier to eat vegetarian meals in those circumstances, so there’s never an issue about kosher meat or mixing meat and dairy.
That’s precisely what Queen Esther chose to do when she lived at King Ahasuerus’s palace -- at least according to most historians. And so it has become tradition to celebrate Purim with a vegetarian seudah.
In our family – loaded with both vegetarians and meat-eaters who enjoy the occasional vegetarian dinner, and also my daughter, who is allergic to fish, a Purim Vegetarian Seudah works out perfectly.
Here are some of our favorites for the feast:
Start with Pasta Fagiole: a hot and hearty soup, thick with vegetables, beans and pasta. We usually top it with lots of grated Parmesan cheese.
For our main course we like Mushroom and Feta Frittata, which I can make ahead and re-warm or serve at room temperature. Sometimes I add peas or chopped tomatoes to the recipe. If I don’t have feta cheese, I switch to goat cheese. The recipe is very forgiving.
I usually serve at least two other vegetables, maybe Roasted Tomatoes and Blue Cheese because I can also make this one ahead and it is so pretty to boot!
Because Purim is usually around the time that asparagus is in season and we can get the very best ones at the store, I will make some sort of roasted asparagus recipe, like Lemon-Roasted Asparagus. I do realize that for some, asparagus can never be kosher, but we include it. I wash the spears carefully.
I will probably also have some hummus on hand. I always have hummus on hand! Maybe this recipe: Hummus with Pine Nuts and Zatar.
Dessert? Of course! Maybe Butterscotch Pudding, my grand daughter Lila’s favorite. But no occasion in our family would be complete without my “famous” Grand Finale cookies, a recipe in my first book, Hip Kosher. Since that book was published, I’ve changed the recipe to accommodate my youngest grand daughter, Carina, age 2, who can’t eat nuts.
Here’s the Oatier, Nutless Grand Finale Cookie recipe.