I hate Passover. I hate the boxes of processed disgustingness and dark chocolate jelly rings (which my husband loves). I hate overpriced bottles of mayo and meat prices jacked up just because. I hate Passover for lots of obvious reasons.
But I do view Passover as a culinary challenge, one that I’ve been working on for many years.
One of my favorite recent Passover recipes is an Italian style liver spread, instead of traditional chopped liver. This recipe is….unctuous. Rich, sweet, flavorful, and will blow your traditional mom’s chunky liver out of the water (with all due respect to your mom and her liver, of course). This recipe is NOT for the faint hearted, or those who are looking for a healthy alternative. This recipe is best for people looking for an indulgent dish, because yes, it has fat in it.
Traditional Tuscan style liver spread calls for a special wine made in the region called Vin Santo, which of course is impossible to find kosher. If you find it, please let us know how. So instead of using the elusive sweet Vin Santo wine, I reccomend using a sweet red wine, or even dare I say it. ok, I’ll whisper: Manischewitz.
I like to broil my own livers, but there is no reason you can’t use already broiled livers from the butcher.
Tuscan Liver Spread
- 1 lb chicken livers (raw or already broiled)
- 1 Tbsp chopped thyme leaves
- 3/4 cup sliced button or bella mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp capers, minced
- 1 Tbsp minced anchovies or anchovy paste
- 1 1/2 cups sweet red wine
- olive oil
- chicken or duck fat
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
If livers are not already broiled, spread out the raw livers on a roasting pan and broil in an oven until they are just no longer pink inside.
In a skillet on medium, heat a few Tbsp of olive oil, and add 1 tsp of chicken or duck fat. Saute the mushrooms in oil until soft and caramelized. Add capers, thyme and anchovies and saute for another minute or two, so the flavors have the chance to marry.
Add the sweet red wine, scraping any “good bits” on the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture reduce for 2 minutes, and then add the livers to the mixture. Allow the livers to cook in the wine and mushroom mixture for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce has a reduced to half and livers are fully coated.
Allow the livers and sauce to cool for a few minutes, and then add to a food processor along with 1-2 Tbsp of chicken or duck fat. Mix until desired consistently. Fold in lemon zest at the end.
Serve with matzah or tam tams during Passover. Serve with a crusty baguette and a big glass of wine the rest of the year.