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Passover cooking with Chef Michael Solomonov

  •  March 16, 2021
     8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Learn to make Charoset, Mina with Ground Beef, Cardamon and Coffee, and another dish being announced soon with Michael Solomonov, Executive Chef and Co-owner of Zahav, the 2019 James Beard Foundation award winner for Outstanding Restaurant. He will dazzle in this virtual cooking event.

Event link, password, and recipes will be sent before the event


This cooking demonstration isn’t meant to be a follow-along, but if you’d like to be prepared with the ingredients for two of the recipes, they’re below!

Mina with Ground Beef, Cardamom and Coffee

Serves 6

Mina is the ladino word for pie. This Passover dish, common throughout the Sephardic world, is almost too good to be true. Once the matzo is soaked and baked, it magically transforms into something more like traditional pastry than unleavened bread. Mina has great vegetarian potential and can be filled with anything from eggplant to spinach and cheese to potatoes. But I like the way the matzo soaks up the fat and juices from ground beef in this version. The mina is topped with the fruit-and-nut condiment so crucial to the Passover table: charoset. Cardamom is used to flavor coffee and in sweets throughout the Middle East, but the cardamom-coffee combination works perfectly in savory recipes like this one. The cardamom is super piney and fragrant, with a sweetness that balances the roasty, bitter coffee and the rich, salty meat.


4 carrots, peeled and grated

½ apple, peeled and grated

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh horseradish

2 tablespoons raisins

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Kosher salt


1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing

1 pound ground beef

½ onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon finely ground coffee

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

4–6 sheets matzo

1 large egg, beaten

For the charoset: Combine the carrots, apple, walnuts, cilantro, horseradish, raisins, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Set aside.

For the mina: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a baking dish with oil.

Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and salt and continue cooking until the vegetables have softened but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes more. Add the coffee and cardamom and stir to combine.

Soak the matzo in warm water until pliable, about 1 minute. Line the bottom of the oiled cast iron skillet with the matzo, breaking up the pieces as needed to completely cover the bottom and sides of the skillet. Spoon the beef mixture over the bottom and cover the top with more matzo, pressing at the edges to seal. Brush with the beaten egg and bake until the mina is golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Invert the mina onto a serving platter. Slice into wedges and serve topped with the charoset.

MINA WITH GROUND BEEF, CARDAMOM AND COFFEE is excerpted from ZAHAV by MICHAEL SOLOMONOV and STEVEN COOK. Copyright © 2015 by MICHAEL SOLOMONOV and STEVEN COOK. Photos by MICHAEL PERSICO. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Red Pepper Salad 

Serves 8 


¼ cup olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

5 cups roughly chopped red bell peppers (about 4 large)

1 cup peeled, grated carrots (about 2 carrots)

½ bunch cilantro (½ cup chopped)

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or garlic scapes


  • Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the paprika and stir, cooking for another minute. Add the vinegar and red peppers and continue cooking until the peppers are very tender, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, chopped cilantro, sugar, and salt and stir to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until coarse. Serve hot or chilled. Before serving, top with chives or scapes and the remaining cilantro.

RED PEPPER SALAD is excerpted from ZAHAV by MICHAEL SOLOMONOV and STEVEN COOK. Copyright © 2015 by MICHAEL SOLOMONOV and STEVEN COOK. Photos by MICHAEL PERSICO. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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