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Lehrhaus chef Noah Clickstein shared a vegan twist on a beloved family recipe.

Executive chef Noah Clickstein of Lehrhaus, a Somerville tavern serving Jewish cuisine, shared his favorite family holiday recipe with us: chopped liver. (Photo courtesy of Noah Clickstein)

If part of your holiday celebrations will involve cooking a meal to share with family and friends, has got you covered when it comes to new holiday recipes to try. 

We asked four Boston-based chefs to share their favorite holiday recipe with us. Noah Clickstein, executive chef at Lehrhaus, a Somerville tavern serving Jewish cuisine, told us about his favorite holiday recipe: chopped liver.

  • Lehrhaus

    This Somerville tavern was named one of America’s best new restaurants

“It’s something that I grew up eating, my grandmother always made homemade chopped liver,” Clickstein said. “I love making it and it’s something that is just a lot of fun for me to be able to show that ‘not-normal’ parts of meat are delicious too.”

Clickstein’s family recipe calls for traditional chicken livers, but at Lehrhaus — which is a kosher dairy restaurant, meaning dairy, but no meat, is served – he makes a vegan version for customers to enjoy.

The dish, called “chopped not-liver” on the menu, is topped with crispy onions and served with warm pita bread. It’s an Ashkenazi dish that is among a wide variety of dishes on Lehrhaus’ menu celebrating Jewish diasporic cuisine. Other items on the menu include huevos haminados, a Sephardic dish served in deviled egg style, or spiced red lentil stew from the Ethiopian Jewish community.

“The food that we serve here showcases the different diasporic communities that Jews have landed in,” he said. “It’s like world cuisine through a Jewish lens and we want to showcase some dishes that people might not be familiar with.”

“I love making it and it’s something that is just a lot of fun for me to be able to show that ‘not-normal’ parts of meat are delicious too,” executive chef Noah Clickstein said of making his family’s chopped liver recipe.

Clickstein chose chopped liver as his favorite holiday recipe because “it is something that is approachable and accessible, while still seeming like a dish that people wouldn’t normally get.”

Below, he shared the recipe for both the vegan and meat version of chopped liver.

Vegan chopped liver (“chopped not-liver”)


Yield: 4 cups/1 qt

  • 375 grams eggplant guts
  • 160 grams cashews, lightly toasted
  • 160 grams walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 700 grams yellow onion brulee
  • 4 grams garlic cloves, minced
  • 465 grams shiitake mushroom, small dice
  • 2 tsp MSG
  • ½ cup + 4 tbsp brandy


  1. Wrap eggplant in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Keep in aluminum until they are cool and then remove the skin and save the eggplant guts and some of the liquid. 
  2. Toast the cashews and the walnuts together on a ½ sheet pan until golden brown, and then soak the nuts in cold water for at least 30 min, can be overnight. This will bring out the bitterness of the nuts and help soften the nuts. 
  3. Take off the skins of your onion and cut them in half to make two half moons. Take a grate and place over flame. Place onion on the grate over a high flame and char onions on the flat side only, then place in the robot coupe and pulse until small dice
  4. Take the mushrooms and de-stem. Weigh out what you need, and in a few batches, pulse whole mushrooms in the robot coupe until they are small dice size.  
  5. In a pot with a lid put your mushrooms and onions and garlic in and begin to sweat (reminder sweating in this kitchen means cooking  covered, with salt and on low flame)
  6. Once everything is fully sweated (mushy and translucent) transfer to a preheated cast iron pot and begin to caramelize the mixture. 
  7. Once caramelized taste and add salt if it needs it.  
  8. Next, turn the heat up to high for 30 seconds to get the pan nice and hot, then turn the flame off. add in your brandy, then turn the flame back on. You will begin to flambé it while reducing the liquid until the flame from the alcohol has gone away and it is 3/4 reduced. Remove mixture and set aside to cool completely. 
  9. Next step is to process all of these things and emulsify them together. First step is to use the robot coupe and process the soaked nuts with the eggplant guts and a good pinch of salt until a smooth paste forms, similar to a loose peanut butter. You may need to do this in 2-3 batches. This will take a long time to come together, so don’t worry it’s not you. Place this into a large mixing bowl. You can use the robot coupe without washing for all these steps since they are all going together later. 
  10. Next process your onion/mushroom mixture in the robot coup until smooth with a generous pinch of salt. Process until a smooth paste is formed. 
  11. Fold all together with a spatula, and add in your MSG. 
  12. Taste for seasoning and texture, it should taste rich and full of umami. The texture should be as thick as hummus with a TINY bit of grit from the nuts. If you need to add anything, it would be salt or MSG.

Regular chopped liver:


  • 1 pound (454 grams) chicken livers
  • 3 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) schmaltz, plus more as needed (see note)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (about 8 ounces; 226 grams), finely minced (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced 
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled


  1. Start the night before, take your livers and mix them with the salt and pepper, leave them in a sealed container in the fridge. (if you forget to do this step just season your livers a bit more heavy than what this recipe says)
  2. The next day take them out and pat them dry. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat up a cast iron pan (or any heavy pan) on medium high. 
  4. Once hot add in your schmaltz and then add in your dry livers. Put them in the pan but do not crowd the pan, we want to give them room to get a beautiful sear on them. Once one side is deeply golden brown, flip the liver over and cook for another 20 seconds. 
  5. Once you are done with all of them add in your onions and garlic
  6. Add a pinch of salt and continue to cook and move them around until the allium are translucent. 
  7. Immediately turn off the heat and add in your brandy. If you have a gas stove you can turn the heat back on and flambee, if you don’t then light a match (or just let it reduce until almost gone. Either way make sure to scrape up your schnibbly bits (aka fond aka the little bits stuck at the bottom of the pan from cooking the liver and allium). 
  8. Process your liver and onions in a food processor to your desired consistency. I prefer it a bit more chunky, but it’s your choice. Either way when you are done, fold in hard boiled eggs chopped small.

What’s your favorite holiday recipe? Tell us by filling out the form or e-mailing us at [email protected], and your response may appear in a future article.

What’s your favorite holiday recipe?

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