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Vegetarian Gefilte Fish for Passover or Nut Patties

I live in a Vegetarian community. When people change their diet they sometimes need to find an alternative to traditional foods so they can celebrate holidays as they always did.

One traditional East European Jewish Passover dish is Gefilte Fish – which are fish patties.

In my village different families have their own version of this dish, some passed down for 4-5 generations of vegetarian families. I have decided to share with you two versions of this dish. The first version is Fried Almond and Sunflower seeds Patties cooked in Vegetable Broth and the second version is baked Almond and Celery Patties, served with vegetable broth.

Of course you don’t have to be Jewish and it doesn’t necessarily have to be Passover to enjoy these yummy Nut Patties (or burgers, whatever you wish to call them).

Vegetarian Gefilte Fish

Almond and Sunflower seed Patties

My mother has this recipe from her neighbor, Shulke Yoselevich.

This amount is enough to make 20 patties.

Ingredients for the Patties:

Ingredients for Almond and Sunflower Patties

Half a cup of Sunflower seeds

Half a cup of Almonds (unpeeled from their brown skin)

6 eggs

One celery root, Grated

One Onion, Grated

Three table spoons of chopped Parsley

Three table spoons of chopped Celery leaves

Matzo meal (If you can’t find Matzo meal on the Jewish goods shelf of your local supermarket you can substitute it with flour or chopped dry biscuits)

Salt, Pepper and Sugar (Optional) to Taste.

1/2 inch of horseradish Root, grated (Optional).

This is what Matzo meal looks like:

Matzo meal

Ingredients for Vegetable Stock:

6-8 cups of water

One sliced Onion

Three Sliced Carrots

One Sliced Celery Root or 6 sliced Celery stalks

1 inch piece of Horse radish root (Optional)

Salt, Pepper and Sugar (Optional) to Taste.

To make the stock:

Combine ingredients, bring to a boil, and let simmer while you make the patties.

To make the Patties:

Chop Almonds and Sunflower seeds in a food processor till they are as fine as possible (They don’t have to be as fine as flour. Small bits are OK).

Chopped Almonds and Sunflower seeds

Combine the rest of the Patty ingredients, but not the Matzo meal. After you create a good mixture, add some Matzo meal till you can form patties easily. I added 1-2 table spoons.

With wet hands, form balls the size of ping-pong or golf balls, and then give them a little squash. “Seal” the patties for a few seconds on each side in an iron frying pan with a little olive oil or Non-stick frying pan.

Vegetarian Nut Patties

While the stock is boiling, drop the patties into the stock, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Patties cooking in the broth

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Almond and Celery Baked Patties

This recipe was published in our village bulletin by Sarah Peleg, and she was kind enough to allow me to publish it here, so thank you Sarah!

Sorry I don’t have photographs for this recipe. I might add some later.

 Ingredients for the Patties:

One large celery root

300 grams (10 Ounces) of almonds (unpeeled from their brown skin)

6 eggs

3-4 large Onions

Matzo meal (If you can’t find Matzo meal on the Jewish goods shelf of your local supermarket you can substitute it with flour of chopped dry biscuits)

Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Ingredients for Vegetable Stock:

2-3 liters (5-6 pints) of water

4-5 medium sized Onions, sliced

3-4 Carrots

One Celery Root

Salt, Pepper and Sugar (Optional) to Taste.

To make the stock:

Slice Carrots and Celery Root and cook in the water for 20 minutes. Add the onions and cook for 5 more minutes, till the Onions are soft but still retain their shape. Stop cooking the Stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you wish, add one teaspoon of Sugar. Set Aside.

To make the Patties:

Slice 2-3 Onions and sauté on a non stick frying pan or with a little water, till the onions are transparent.

Using the chopping blade of the food processor, chop the ingredients in this order (from dry to moist):

Almonds – till they are as fine as possible, almost as fine as flour, some small pieces are OK. Transfer them to a mixing bowl.

Celery – chop till celery is as fine as possible, as with the almonds. Transfer to the mixing bowl.

Sautéed Onions – till they form a paste.

1 uncooked Onion – till it forms a paste.

Mix all the chopped ingredients together with the eggs. Add salt and pepper. Add Matzo meal till the consistency of the mixture is such that you can form patties. Be careful not to add too much Matzo meal, so the patties won’t be too dry. If the mixture is too dry, you can fix this by adding another egg or two.

With moist hands, form the Patties and place on a baking paper covered baking tray.

Bake in medium heat 170-180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) oven, till the Patties brown a little, but do not start to burn. You can make the Patties thick or thin, large or small, as you like. Sarah makes two sizes, larger for adults and smaller for the kids.

Assembling the dish

When the stock and the Patties cool down to room temperature, place the patties in a container, and pour the stock over them. Layer the Patties and the stock, so that the patties are not buried under a pile of stock vegetables.

Keep in the refrigerator in a closed container and serve cold.

It is possible to freeze the patties in a closed container without the stock, and make fresh stock when you want to serve them.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter everyone!

One thought on “Vegetarian Gefilte Fish for Passover or Nut Patties

  1. ooo wish i had had this recipe back in the vegetarian days! i think my grandmother would have approved- they look delicious!

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