Rebbetzen Epstein

Rebbetzen Epstein's Pesach Recipes
Date Uploaded: 
Thursday 18th March 2021

Not my mother’s cucumber salad

4 small cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced very thin

⅓ cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon pepper

½ cup pitted black olives, chopped coarse

1 shallot, sliced very thin

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted and chopped coarse

This salad is best served within one hour of being dressed.


1. Place cucumber slices on paper towel–lined bowl. Refrigerate while preparing dressing. 

2. Bring vinegar to simmer in saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer vinegar to bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. 

3. When ready to serve, add cucumbers, olives, shallot, parsley, and oregano to dressing and toss to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes; retoss, sprinkle with almonds, and serve.


Sicilian-Style Potato Gratin

1 garlic clove, halved

Olive oil for brushing plus 4 tablespoons, divided

2 cups chopped onions

Coarse kosher salt

1 ¼ kilo potatoes, peeled, very thinly sliced

3 tablespoons drained capers

475 ml (2 cups) chicken broth


1. Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350°F. Rub 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with cut side of garlic clove. Brush dish with olive oil. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, sprinkle with coarse salt, and sauté until soft and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 13 minutes.

2. Arrange 1/3 of potatoes in even layer in prepared dish. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Scatter half of onions over. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon capers. Repeat layering with half of remaining potatoes, coarse salt and pepper, remaining onions, and 1 tablespoon capers. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

3. Arrange remaining potato slices over. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon capers. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pour chicken broth over. Press down firmly on potatoes to compact gratin.

4. Cover gratin tightly with foil and bake until potatoes are tender, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until lightly browned about 15 minutes. Let gratin stand 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.


Chicken in the Pot with Carrots, Mushrooms, and Thyme

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 8 pieces

½ teaspoon table salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium leeks, trim the dark green leaves and root end, keeping the base intact. Quarter each leek lengthwise and rinse thoroughly.

4 medium carrots, halved crosswise, then halved or quartered lengthwise depending on thickness

225 grams white mushrooms, brushed clean and halved if large

3 sprigs fresh thyme (1 1/2 teaspoons fresh leaves) or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

120 ml dry white wine 

When making this dish, be sure to place the vegetables on top of the chicken after sautéing; that way, they won't be crushed by the meat and will render their juices to the chicken. You can make this dish in a smaller sauté pan, but you will then need to brown the chicken in batches.


1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken; saute until browned on both sides, moving around to brown evenly, 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Discard all but thin film of fat from pan. Add onion, carrots, and mushrooms; sauté, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until pan juices evaporate, 4 to 5 minutes. 

3. Return chicken and accumulated juices to pan, moving vegetables to top. Add thyme sprigs and wine; bring to boil. Lower heat, cover, and barely simmer until chicken is cooked through, basting three or four times, about 25 minutes. Place portion of chicken on each plate; top with vegetables. Ladle juices over both chicken and vegetables and serve immediately.


Flourless Carrot Cake

5 eggs, at room temperature

1½ cups (265g) brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup (125ml) oil

3½ cups (440g) almond meal (ground almonds)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking powder

400g carrots, peeled and grated

1 cup (75g) shredded coconut

½ cup (70g) roasted slivered almonds

½ cup (80g) currants


1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).

2. Line the base of a lightly greased 24cm springform tin with non-stick baking paper and set aside.

3. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and whisk for 15 minutes or until thick and tripled in volume.

4. Place the oil, almond meal, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, carrot, coconut, almonds and currants in a large bowl and mix well to combine.

5. Fold through the egg mixture and spoon into the tin.

6. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes – 1 hour 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached.

7. Allow to cool completely in the tin before refrigerating for 2–3 hours or until firm. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the tin.