We all get a little tired of matzo as the end of Passover nears. Okay, very tired of Matzo! Asparagus Matzo Terrines with Blender Hollandaise Sauce to the rescue!
Every year I task myself with creating something a little different for Passover week meals. Maybe a twist on an old favorite or traditional recipe. ANYTHING, to help relieve the “palette boredom” I get this time of year.
My Asparagus Matzo Terrines with Blender Hollandaise Sauce certainly fit the bill. It’s a twist on an old favorite, the Mina.
Haven’t every heard of a Mina? It’s a lovely Sephardic matzo casserole that’s made by layering softened matzo, vegetables and cheeses, then baking it in a casserole.
A mina can take on any flavor profile you wish, the Greek version seeming to be the most popular, with Feta cheese and spinach.
I conceptualized this recipe as a lovely “company” dish for Passover weekend guests this year. Individual portions baked into a pretty presentation of the rustic original. Yes, that sounded nice.
But, after the taste-testing, H.H. and I decided it would be a delicious “second night” Seder entree too.
With the addition of soup and salad, you’ve got an incredible vegetarian Seder meal, with a touch of Passover panache!
The really fabulous thing about this recipe, is that you can make and assemble the terrines the day before you want to serve them! What more can a busy hostess ask for?
I’ll tell you how to get your own set of Passover Celebration Printables a little later in this post.
When I think of the season’s first vegetables, bright green asparagus, sugar snap peas and baby spinach immediately “Spring” to mind. Quickly blanched, they’re the “meat” in Asparagus Matzo Terrines with Blender Hollandaise Sauce.
It seemed logical to add a creamy cheese layer too. Ricotta cheese is a Mina staple, so that was a given. What would be a nice complement to the asparagus? Lemons for sure, so both juice and zest were added to the recipe. But what other cheese would complement the vegetables, but not overwhelm the overall taste profile of the dish?
While taking a “mental walk” through the cheese department of my grocer’s, I came across a wedge of Gouda.
It’s creamy, mild and would lend a depth of flavor that would indeed complement the Spring vegetables.
Next, a generous amount of chopped fresh herbs, with the emphasis on asparagus’ good friend, tarragon, are added to the cheese mixture.
Knowing that unsalted matzo adds no real flavor to the recipe, it’s important to season every component of the terrines as you go along. To that end, I knew I wanted to add another flavor element to the cheese filling.
The answer was to saute sliced leeks and garlic until tender, then throw in a bunch of tender baby spinach and a dash of nutmeg as you take it from the heat. Tossing the mixture wilts the spinach, while keeping the flavor “green”.
Okay, now I had my cheese filling, vegetables and matzo layers. But, how does it turn into a terrine, that has beautiful layers, while all holding together in a “loaf” shape?
My vision was for the Asparagus Matzo Terrines with Blender Hollandaise to be an elegant dish when plated for a sit-down dinner. So, it had to maintain its shape, but not add any additional flavors to the mix. (keep in mind, I hadn’t even considered a sauce yet!)
As I thought about it, the answer seemed quite simple. When you make chremslach or matzo brei, beaten eggs are used to bind the recipes.
So, I’d pour beaten eggs over the tops of the terrines before baking, and that should hold them together, while not getting soggy. That should work, I thought… (it did!)
Speaking of Chremslach, here’s a post that shares recipes for GOURMET MATZO PANCAKES that are another great way to chase the “Passover Matzo Blues” away!
Check out the post here: Passover Recipes & Game + Seder Invite, Place Cards & Napkin Ring PDFs
When the Asparagus Matzo Terrines came out of the oven, I let them cool a few minutes after taking the foil off.
They un-molded beautifully from the buttered loaf pans, nicely browned on the outside, holding their shape, like I had hoped.
But, the terrines just sat there on the plate, looking pathetically “naked” and “boring”.
Since the traditional Mina that this recipe is based on is a casserole, there’s no need for a sauce. Not so true for a molded matzo dish. I had to put on my thinking cap and come up with a yummy, but classy solution.
As I busied myself clearing the mess from, what would come to be known as Asparagus Matzo Terrines with Blender Hollandaise, I brainstormed for an answer.
What goes with asparagus and tarragon? Maybe repeats the lemon element from the filling... LIGHT BULB MOMENT! Of course, the obvious answer was: Blender Hollandaise!
Blender Hollandaise is the perfect topping for the flavors in the Asparagus Matzo Terrines. It has the tang of lemons and the silkiness that only a butter-based sauce can give. And as far as presentation goes, it also makes for a gorgeous plated dish, which is exactly what this recipe needed.
Intimidated by Hollandaise sauce? Don’t let that stop you from trying Asparagus Matzo Terrines with Blender Hollandaise Sauce.
I’ve got a fool-proof method of making Hollandaise sauce that is fast, easy and delicious. Honestly, if you’re a person who always orders Eggs Benedict because you won’t make Hollandaise at home, start taking notes!
The one caveat to this recipe is that you’ll need a high-powered blender.
By using a blender to emulsify the simple ingredients of hot melted butter, Dijon, egg yolks and lemon juice, you can have a lovely hollandaise in minutes.
The real secret to a masterfully emulsified hollandaise? Streaming VERY HOT MELTED BUTTER into the blender as it’s running. The blender does all the work, or should I say, all the magic!
Now let’s talk about how to plate your Asparagus Matzo Terrines with Blender Hollandaise Sauce.
You can drape your Hollandaise sauce over the terrines and garnish, which makes for a very elegant presentation for a Seder meal.
Or, you can also serve it sliced “domino-style”, nestled in a pool of Hollandaise instead. For a Passover weekend meal for guests, I’m opting for this plating suggestion. It’s a bit more casual, served with a crisp White wine, simple salad and dessert.
I’ve actually given you a little “behind-the-scenes” look at how I go about creating new recipes. It’s the same process I’ve used over the years while professionally catering up and down the East Coast.
Creativity is a fickle thing, sometimes the “light bulb moments” come fast and furious. And at other times, they trickle like chilled honey. Give it a try next time you find yourself tired of the same old recipe rotation. It’ll get your motor running and your palette excited again!
Why not “show and tell” about your own creativity over at the FAB LIFE FACEBOOK GROUP. We love to see and hear about your triumphs, both in and out of the kitchen! Join in the fun today!
Now, as promised, here’s how you can get your copy of the PASSOVER CELEBRATION PRINTABLES.
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Terrines can be assembled to the last step up to 24 hours in advance of baking and serving. (let terrines sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and bake as directed)
Nutritional information should be considered an estimate only; please consult a registered dietician, nutritionist, or your physician for specific health-related questions. Please note that the recipe above is published using a recipe card plugin, with preexisting software which can auto-calculate metric measurements, as well as change the number of servings. Metric conversions and changes to the number of servings (resulting in different ingredient amounts) will only appear in the ingredient list, and are not changed within the step-by-step directions of the recipe.