For a New Take on Old Traditions, Consider This Passover Grazing Board

A festive snacking situation featuring matzo, horseradish, and more.

March 21, 2023
Photo by Jonathan Meter. Food Stylist: Jessica Meter.

Passover is a holiday that celebrates spring, rebirth, and redemption. Passover traditions change and evolve—no two Seders are the same, which makes them so special. One delightful tradition I stick to is the frequent instruction to drink wine (I don’t need to be reminded, but it’s a great excuse). Another is having the youngest child ask “The Four Questions,” explaining what Passover is about (the exodus of the Jews from Egypt) and answering, “why is this night different from all other nights?” In my family, I was always the youngest child, so I sang the questions in Hebrew until I was 35. My mother always joked that all she got from my Hebrew school education was the Four Questions. (I actually think that made the tuition worth it.)

With my own kids now shouldering this burden, I can relax! No more anxiety about singing in front of everyone, which means I can drink my wine and chill. And now that I don’t have stage fright, I’ve realized there’s something seriously lacking: snacks. So I have a fifth question to add to the mix—why no snacks at Passover? I don’t see a good reason to exclude appetizers from this meal. We have to sit through a long service while dipping herbs in salt water, reciting prayers in Hebrew, and repeatedly washing hands, all without more than a bite or two of matzo until dinner. Isn’t this holiday about freedom? We’re asked to recline at the table and drink wine, all sans nosh? (Honestly, I usually end up sneaking little matzo, charoset, and horseradish sandwiches under the table).

This year, I’m changing up my family’s tradition and serving a Passover grazing board to kick off Seder the best way I know how—with plenty of snacks. (To be clear, this board isn't meant to replace the Seder plate, but rather to add another layer of food tradition and snacking possibilities to the day.)

Classic Elements

To honor tradition, I include the basic elements of a Seder plate on my board. I serve matzo alongside decorative ramekins filled with horseradish and charoset, plus fresh parsley. I like to layer the matzo decoratively across the center of the board because, after all, it’s the star of the show.

Modern Touches

Colorful fruit and vegetables reflect the culinary and historical themes of Passover, and they add a modern flare. Asparagus and marinated artichoke hearts provide a splash of color and contrasting texture. My family doesn't keep Kosher, so I like to add plenty of cheese to my grazing boards—I reach for a creamy goat’s milk cheese like Vermont Creamery Coupole, a hard cheese like Pecorino, and a semi-hard cheese like Manchego. Nuts and dried fruit reflect Passover culinary traditions, while chocolate-covered matzo and macaroons are a sweet finishing touch.

Serving Options

To assemble this grazing board, a flat surface works best. I’ve used a stone slate, a wooden board, and even a vintage Seder plate—any option works, as long as it’s a sizable serving piece. When it’s time to dig in, I always break out my mother’s, aunt’s, and grandmother’s China for Passover—the mix-and-match dishes tell the story of my family history. It feels like a sweet homage to Passover and to my family to remember our past.

Passover is about honoring traditions and rituals, but it’s also a holiday about enlightenment and evolution, about inclusion and progress. I hope this grazing board becomes a new cherished tradition for your family, as it has for mine.

What’s your favorite Passover tradition, new or old? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Chef / Recipe Developer / Caterer


Alexis8d March 28, 2023
Such a great idea to make Passover fun and accessible, especially for kids. I’ve always wanted to make something that looks as gorgeous as this!
Jessica F. March 31, 2023
Thanks Alexis!!
Claudia March 28, 2023
Everything looks amazing and a really beautiful board!! A wonderful addition to a Passover Seder!! What a fabulous idea and can’t wait to try it!!
Jessica F. March 31, 2023
Thank you so much!
[email protected] March 28, 2023
What a beautiful board! Almost too beautiful to eat! I haven’t tried this Passover board, but the ones I’ve tried for Thanksgiving and other occasions, have been as delicious as they look. This one will be the next one I try!
Jessica F. March 31, 2023
Thank you!
Lonnie65 March 28, 2023
What a brilliant idea. Passover is my favorite holiday. If I lived closer to Brooklyn, I’d definitely order one of these beautiful boards full of all my favorite Passover foods. Hope these sell out. They should!
Jessica F. March 31, 2023
Thank you so much!
RachelinNYC March 24, 2023
Such a great idea! Passover is all about tradition and I love creating new ones with my family. Excited to bring snacks to my Seder this year!
Jessica F. March 24, 2023
Thank you! Hope it turns out great!
LO March 24, 2023
Such a beautiful board and inspiring idea. My best memories with family are surrounded by meals made with love. Such a special addition to a beautiful tradition!
Jessica F. March 24, 2023
Thanks so much!!
JDaly2 March 23, 2023
What a great idea! Anytime we can add more food to a family tradition is a win. This Passover grazing board makes for such a delicious display!
Jessica F. March 24, 2023
Thank you! Hope you give it a try.
Danabissinger March 23, 2023
Beautiful flavors and colors. Wonderful idea for a new tradition!
Jessica F. March 24, 2023
Thank you so much!
libbsp March 23, 2023
Love this idea! Thanks for the hosting inspiration!
Jessica F. March 24, 2023
Any time! Hope you give it a try.
Doraficher March 23, 2023
I love the idea of adding this grazing board to my other Passover traditions. It totally makes so much sense to me.
Passover is one of my favorite holidays, getting together with family and friends, going around the table reading the Haggadah, watching the little ones trying to follow along, singing the songs, but it could get a bit long until we are done and can finally eat.
Having some of these grazing boards as appetizers is such a great idea. Everyone can eat a little from the grazing board before the Seder, maybe even during the Seder, the children will definitely be happy, they are usually the first ones who get hungry.
The Grazing boards that Jessica makes look amazing. They are soooo good and colorful. A wonderful addition to the Seder.
[email protected] March 23, 2023
I have had the pleasure of sharing several of Jessi’s boards at various events. They were all different as well as beautiful and delicious, a wonderful variety of tasty morsels. I highly recommend them! And eagerly look forward to enjoying the next one. 🥰
caarin March 22, 2023
Love this! Beautiful colors and flavors. Very inspiring. I’m spinning with ideas - I like the idea of a decomposed charoset as elements on the board. Can’t wait to make my own!
Jessica F. March 23, 2023
Thank you so much! Let us know how it turns out!