Beyond the seder: An ideal Passover dish from the Moroccan kitchen
Vered Guttman serves up maakouda, a traditional Moroccan street food made of potatoes and eggs (though try her version with dandelions for a particularly delightful snack).
Maakouda is a Moroccan potato dish, served either as pie or as fritters that became a traditional Passover weekday dish for many Jews from that North African country.
Similar to the Ashkenazi potato kugel, maakouda is a simple pie of potatoes and eggs, ingredients which are Passover staples in so many Jewish communities around the Diaspora. Starting with mashed potatoes, most maakouda recipes call for fried or raw onion, and lightly beaten or whipped eggs.
As a Moroccan street food, the maakouda is fried in individual portions, but most of the homemade versions are baked in the oven. The Maakouda is ideal for Passover, though in many Jewish Moroccan home it is served year round.
And just to make this recipe a bit more interesting, healthy and fun, I added a bunch of chopped fresh dandelions to the original recipe, and loved the results. You can experiment with the greens of your choice, from herbs to kale, spinach or Swiss chard.
Yields one 9” round pie
2 lb. Golden potatoes, skin on, scrubbed
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
0.5 lb. dandelion, chopped
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
0.5 teaspoon turmeric
0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 eggs, separated
1. Oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9” round cake pan with oil and drizzle one tablespoon olive oil at the bottom.
2. Put the potatoes, skin on, in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil over high heat, cover, lower the heat and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Mash the potatoes in their skins with a fork, leaving small chunks.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, put olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and sauté the onion until golden. Add the chopped dandelion and sauté about 3 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
4. Add the dandelion mixture into the bowls with the mashed potatoes and mix. Add salt, turmeric, black pepper and egg yolks and mix again.
5. Whip egg whites to form soft peaks and then fold into potato mixture. Transfer to the pan and drizzle a little olive oil on top. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes longer, until the top is golden and the pie is firm. Let sit for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
Vered Guttman is a caterer and a food writer based in Washington DC. Growing up in Israel she took her first lessons in Jewish cooking sitting at the tables of her two grandmothers, one from Poland, the other from Iraq. In Modern Manna, Vered will share a mix of new Israeli trends and old Jewish traditions, sprinkled with a distinct Sephardic flavor. Follow Vered on Twitter @veredguttman