I've been asked by my MIL to make a side dish for the seder. Not being Jewish myself, I want to make sure I bring something appropriate. I looked at the recipes posted below and the beet recipe looks interesting. Does anyone have other side dishes that are a big hit? My mother-in-law loves artichokes...if that helps.
I just searched the Martha Stewart website and she has a whole page with links to various Passover recipes. They look very yummy.
When I host Seder I always do lots of room-temperature dishes since I only have 1 oven. This is also perfect way to honor my Sephardic heritage. I try to use as much spring produce as possible to provide some lightness to a typically very heavy meal.
I always do a roasted asparagus dish. Preheat oven to 425. Wash/dry and trim asparagus. Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO, and season with salt/pepper and herbs of choice. Roast for about 15 min. shaking pan halfway through, until golden. You can just serve them this way, or sprinkle with a bit of aged balsamic first.
I also usually do some kind of french-style potato salad with new potatoes (good recipes are found in the older cookbooks, e.g., Craig Claiborne's New York Times cookbook, or Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking) with lots of chopped fresh parsley and herbs, and sometimes steamed haricots verts tossed in.
A tomato salad seasoned either mediterranean style or more middle eastern style (with cumin, etc.) is also very nice.
Here are links to some nice Passover-friendly artichoke recipes on epicurious.com:
PATATINE E CARCIOFI ARROSTO
ROASTED POTATOES AND ARTICHOKES
BRAISED BABY ARTICHOKES WITH RED PEPPERS AND GARLIC
ARTICHOKE BOTTOMS BRAISED IN OLIVE OIL WITH GARLIC AND MINT
Carciofi alla Romana
This would be a fantastic passover side dish, and it's advance-preparation friendly! I've made it and it's delicious. I used oranges. To make it OK for passover, substitute white wine vinegar for the rice vinegar (you may want to use a little less as it's stronger) and omit the peanuts.
I am hosting the passover seder this year, so I understand your concern. I didn't grow up Jewish (I married into a Jewish family), so for me it's been a great culinary adventure balancing all the constraints when coming up with a menu. I personally love Mediterranean cooking (I grew up in an Italian family) so Sephardic cooking really appeals to me. Also, many of my husband's family memebers don't care for traditional Eastern-European dishes such as borscht and gefilte fish, so that works out to my advantage when I plan the menu.
Here's what I'm doing for side dishes:
Steamed asparagus with a classic vinagrette. I plan to serve it cold or at room temperature.
Small fingerling potatoes roasted in salt.
A sliced tomato salad dressed with good olive oil, excellent basalmic, sliced scallions, a scattering of chopped fresh dill and Italian parsley.
Cooked Swiss chard (or a mixture of cooked greens--I'll see what looks good at the Farmer's market) tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, sauteed garlic, and formed into bite-sized balls.
And, finally, regarding the artichokes, I think they're a great idea. No breadcrumb stuffing, though, as you know, unless you use matzoh meal in place of the usual breadcrumbs.I've never tried it that way, but if you season everything appropriately, it should taste fine. I actually thought about doing steamed artichokes, too, sliced in half lengthwise, and stuffing them with chopped mushrooms and herbs.
I hope this helps. Good luck!