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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

Because Passover is celebrated for eight days, the holiday begs for a touch of something bright and flavorful to add a refreshing touch to the familiar repertoire of traditional holiday foods. I prepared this delight well before Passover and used a whole-wheat pita as a base, but it works equally well on matzoh when assembled shortly before serving. This dish can make a fun light lunch addition, a snack, or even a breakfast item for those who enjoy a spin with nuance.

A cheery looking, brightly colored appetizer, this tasty take on pizza can be served gently warmed or at room temperature. For convenience, the ingredients can be prepared a day ahead and assembled shortly before serving. The "pizzas" can be eaten warmed in the oven or enjoyed freshly prepared at room temperature.

Kabocha Pizza


Yield: 4 to 6 servings

    1 small kabocha squash (about 2 pounds/1 kilo) or about 2 cups (480 ml) cooked, mashed kabocha squash
    Maple syrup (if needed)

    2 squares matzoh

    18 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered (mix of red and yellow tomatoes, if possible)
    3 to 4 button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    2 green onions, chopped
    2 tablespoons pine nuts
    1 tablespoon poppy seeds
    2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
    2 teaspoons rice vinegar

    Salt and pepper to taste

    2 to 3 tablespoons minced parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (Gas Mark 6) and have ready a large, rimmed baking sheet for the pizzas. Then, line a small rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment and put the kabocha on the small baking sheet and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the squash is very soft when pressed.
  2. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut it in half and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and mash it well. If the squash is not sweet, add 1 or more teaspoons of maple syrup until the squash is delicately sweet.
  3. Spread about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the mashed squash over each piece of matzoh, spreading almost to the edges, and put the matzoh on the baking sheet.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, pine nuts, poppy seeds, olive oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Spoon the tomato mixture over the matzohs and warm them in the oven for about 6 to 10 minutes to warm through.
  6. Cut the matzohs into quarters and arrange them on a platter. For the finishing touch, garnish the platter with a sprinkle of minced parsley around the edges.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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