Passover Special; My Mother’s Vegetarian Chopped Liver
Although genuine chopped liver holds a special place in the annals of Ashkenazic culinary history, today an increasing amount of people are looking for an alternative both for health and humane reasons. The following recipe is an excellent alternative. In both recipes, the secret to success in flavor and color is the slow stewing-frying of the onions till they are well browned but not burnt. To achieve this requires the patience of cooking over low heat for at least a half hour, stirring occasionally. It’s worth it. This also makes a great stuffing for kreplach.
Makes 12 servings as an appetizer\6 servings in a main course lunch salad
1 lb. fresh young or frozen whole green beans, steamed
3 medium onions
1/3 cup light olive oil
6 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
1 1/2 cups walnuts
salt, white pepper, black pepper to taste
If using fresh beans, clip the edges of the beans. Steam fresh or frozen beans in a small amount of boiling salted water, uncovered, until they are crisp but tender. Drain well. Heat the oil on medium heat in a large frying pan, lower heat and saute the onion slowly in oil till deep brown. Stir occasionally. Add more oil if necessary to prevent burning. Drain well. (Add remaining oil in pan to mixture if mixture seems dry).
Mix fully drained steamed beans, onions, eggs and walnuts together in a bowl. Season with salt, white and black pepper to taste. Process in a food processor in two batches till finely ground. Taste and adjust seasonings. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator till serving time, or at least and hour.
To serve, make a bed of arugula or red and green butter lettuces on individual serving plates and top each with a ball of the mixture (use an ice cream scoop dipped in ice water, if you have one). The healthiest way by far to preserve the nutritional value of vegetables like beans, is to steam them, preferably in a steamer basket, where water-soluble B vitamins cannot come in contact with cooking water. Alternately, use just enough boiling salted water to cover the bottom of a pot. Cook green vegetables without a cover, adding more boiling water if necessary. Salting the water raises the temperature of the boil allowing faster cooking.