You either love it or you hate it. Or you’re too scared to find out.

If you ask someone who grew up in a family where you regularly ate liver, or other organ meats, they’ll inevitably grin with deliciousness.  But for those of us who didn’t dish up liver and onions regularly, the idea can be a bit foreign.

Given the opportunity, most little kids that get introduced at an early age actually LOVE liver.

Personally, I grew up on the east coast, near lots of kosher delis, and ate my fair share of chopped liver. I remember being held in my grandfather’s arms, at the fridge, eating it on a spoon out of a deli container and begging for more. Somewhere in my later childhood years, it stopped being something we had around, and by the time I was 23, (after a 15 year stint as a vegetarian), you couldn’t pay me to touch the stuff.

A few years ago, with the bone-broth-slurping,  organ-meat-eating trends that came with the advent of the Paleo movement,  I started really looking at nutritional content of organ meats. Bite for bite, liver holds it’s own against virtually anything you can call food, when it comes to nutrient content.   Liver is particularly high in Vitamins A, C, Biotin, Folate, and B12, as compared to other foods that are considered to be good sources of these nutrients.  In Chinese medical nutrition, liver has been touted for centuries as the best “blood builder” and fertility food– and indeed, with high levels of iron, folate and b12, it’s a sure fire way to help alleviate anemia.

Armed with this knowledge, I was determined to re-learn to eat liver.

If my 3-year-old self could do it, so could my 38-year old self!

Now I learn a lot from my patients. And on my mission to love liver, it was one of my long time patients, Adam, who came to my rescue. After a discussion about this in my office, about once a month or so, Adam brings me a little glass jar with his grandma’s chopped liver, and some celery sticks or Mary’s Crackers.

And as I sit and munch, it’s like I’m 4 all over again….

Liver recipe

Grandma Fleischer’s Chopped Liver

(With huge gratitude to Adam F)


1 Lb Pasture Raised/Organic Chicken Livers

2 Yellow Onions

2 Eggs, hard boiled



Optional: 2-4 slices of Bacon, Anchovies and/or Capers

  1. Thinly slice 2 onions and sautée in oil  until caramelized brown and almost crisp. Be sure to salt and pepper liberally as you sautée.  You can use avocado oil or grass-fed butter for sautéeing, or you can start with 2-4 chopped up pieces of bacon in the pan, and then use that fat to sautée the onions. Cooking time for the onions is 10-20-mins.
  2. When the onions are done, add 1 LB of chicken livers to the pan, salt and pepper again. Cook 8-12 minutes, on medium (not high) heat, turning or stirring every few minutes (but not too much stirring).
  3. Very important! DO NOT OVERCOOK THE LIVER–The livers should still have a little pink in the centers when done.
  4. In batches, remove livers and onions from the pan and transfer to a food processor with chunks of the hard boiled egg. Puree until it reaches the desired consistency. For an added kick,  toss in a handful or two of capers and/or some small anchovy fillets. It just takes a few pulses in the food processor, don’t overdo it.

Serve with celery sticks, crackers, or other veggies and enjoy. This is best prepared a day in advance and then served the next day, but is still delicious when made the day of!