A buffet-style Passover menu

This Friday, sit down with family and friends to a gorgeous three-course spread.

This Friday evening, April 22, marks the start of Passover, an eight-day Jewish holiday and festival marking the Israelites freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt. As with many holidays, Passover is celebrated with family and food — and lots of it!

The menu

The star dish is a beautiful brisket that takes just 10 minutes to prep; just set it in your slow cooker, and forget it until tender (about 4 hours). Then it’s all about easy side dishes and a make-ahead dessert so you can spend more time with company and less in the kitchen. (And whether you’re gathering for a sit-down dinner, or setting out a buffet spread, this Passover feast will definitely impress.)


Photo, Erik Putz.

Warm asparagus salad with chive vinaigrette
Tender-crisp stalks of asparagus are dressed with a lively green dressing and lemon zest for extra spring colour.








Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Slow-cooked brisket with caramelized onions
A bed of prunes and herbs (thyme and bay leaves) along with some some white wine and sugar creates the tenderest beef. Note: This recipe calls for flour to make a gravy, but it’s perfectly fine to leave it out — instead making a jus with the sauces. Just cook it down in a saucepot to thicken, and then use as a gravy.

Shopping tip: Beef brisket is an inexpensive boneless cut that becomes tender after long, slow braising.





Sweet and sour carrots

Photo, Sian Richards.

Radish pickles or Minted zucchini slaw
Pickles and slaws pair nicely with the beef and caramelized onions.

Honey-glazed sweet and sour carrots





What to eat: Day 22Dessert:
Fresh fruit salad with lime-ginger drizzle
Make-ahead tip: Refrigerate syrup in a sealed jar for up to one week. Prepare fruit up to one day ahead and store in the refrigerator in separate resealable plastic bags. Bring to room temperature before serving.




Passover note: Please note that some people celebrate differently from others and not all dishes meet all dietary requirements. Please make changes or omissions, as necessary.

Originally published April 2012. Updated April 2016.