12 Hacks to Make Matzah Less Boring During Passover
Artisanal matzah toast
No bread? No problem."I treat matzah like artisanal toast," says Shannon Sarna Goldberg, editor of The Nosher, which publishes its own list of favorite matzah toasts. Sarna Goldberg tops matzah with these combos: smashed avocado and soft boiled egg; sunflower butter, jam, and candied almonds; spinach, cheese, and poached eggs; She also makes tuna-matzah melts and four different kinds of pizza. "I even made a ‘fairy toast’ matzah this year," she says, referring to the rainbow sprinkles trend. Chef Paula Shoyer, author of The New Passover Menu has a favorite matzah toast. "I love Manischewitz whole wheat matzah topped with roasted red pepper pureed with olive oil; then I add thinly sliced roast chicken and red onion, and finish with a bit of freshly snipped basil."
Matzah brie (pronounced mah-tza-BRY; rhymes with "fry") is like a delicious marriage of an omelet and French toast, involving matzah fried with eggs in a skillet. It can be done like a scramble or more like a pancake and can be made savory, spicy, or even sweet. For Jews of Eastern Europe, it’s the ultimate Passover breakfast. The Forward offers a classic matzah brie recipe just like your Bubbe may have made, and Bon Appetit adds its own brand of expertise to the prep.
For many Jewish families, this one is a tried and true standby, especially during the long week of no regular pizza, pasta, or any kind of leavened grain products (including wheat, barley, spelt, oats, rye, legumes, rice, and even corn). Executive Chef Chris Morvis of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Washington, DC, loves to make matzoh pizzas with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a fried egg on top, garnished with fresh basil. Think of it as a true thin-crust pizza! And have fun with it, using this pizza art inspiration!
Matzah grilled cheese
This perfectly decadent sandwich will be something you actually look forward to eating during Passover. "It’s so good that I have to limit myself to eat it only once or twice every Passover," says Rachel Lithgow, Executive Director, American Jewish Historical Society. Recipe: "Soak two pieces of matzah in sweet (Passover) red wine until they are wet, but not soaked through or mushy. Put two slices of cheese in between (your choice of cheese, my favorite is Swiss or Muenster) being careful not to overload the slices. Brown some butter, and fry this baby like you would any normal grilled cheese sandwich." You’re welcome! (You can likely adapt just about any grilled cheese recipe for Passover as long as you swap out bread for matzah.)
Indian matzah fritters
These fried balls of matzah from a Forward newspaper recipe may remind you a touch of falafel, but they are actually Indian fritters, full of flavor and spice. As a bonus, many spices used in Indian flavorings have amazing health benefits.
Mediterranean open sandwich
Tuna is kosher for Passover, so go ahead and pop open a packet. "A great portable lunch/snack that I can eat at my desk is an open tuna sandwich," Lithgow says. "It’s about the only time I enjoy tuna fish throughout the year." Recipe: A can or packet of tuna in oil, a diced tomato, a diced red onion, an avocado, a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice from one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Basically, mix all of the above ingredients together, and spread it on a piece of matzah. Simple and tasty! Here are other ideas for how to make your diet more Mediterranean.
Chef Ben Goodnick of Summer House Santa Monica loves Matzoh Chilaquiles. "These are spicy salsa roja, sunny egg, California avocado, toasted matzah tossed with a spicy Mexican tomato sauce, topped with a fried egg and garnished with hass avocado!" he says.
Kid-friendly matzah toppers
Even as adults, we’re not a big fan of eating matzoh nonstop for a week, imagine how the kids feel. For picky eaters both young and old, Kveller presents some fun ways to top your matzoh that will have your kids complaining a lot less. Try their recipes for almond butter and jelly and cream cheese, fruit, and honey, among other winning combos.
Quiches make for a perfect little self-contained meal. "Because quiche have a crust which is not Passover friendly, we wanted to find a way to still offer this delicacy to our guests who observe the holiday," says Gadi Peleg, owner of Breads Bakery. "After many different attempts to make a Passover-friendly quiche, we decided to call on a holiday classic, the matzah brei, and thus the matzah brei quiche was born." The matzah brei he remembers from his childhood tended to be delicious but not visually appealing, so Peleg placed it into a mold, making a more attractive version of matzah brei. And while matzah brei is traditionally two ingredients, at Breads Bakery, they’re making quiches in small batches throughout the day to ensure freshness, and adding spring vegetables to make a more interesting flavor profile. These are the healthy vegetables you never knew you loved.
Matzoh "bread" crumbs
Pick year-round recipes that call for panko breadcrumbs, but substitute crushed matzah for extra crunch, says Andrea Wasserman, Founder of Box The Party. Examples are vegetable gratin, fish cakes, and meatloaf.
Soup and stew dippers
M’soki is a dish many Tunisian Jews serve for the Passover Seder. "Basically it is a stew with all the fresh vegetables available at springtime," says Got Kosher? chef-owner Alain Cohen. "You make the stew with beef and a homemade sausage resembling kishka. During the last 15 minutes, you dunk the broken pieces of matzah in the soupy stew. The matzah will absorb the juice and will melt in your month like croutons in a French onion soup." (Yum!) This tactic will work with any soup or stew you have handy and want to make.
Next-level matzah balls
Sure, everyone’s bubbe has a traditional recipe for matzah balls, but Jake Dell, owner of the legendary Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side of Manhattan kicks it up a notch by adding schmaltz, or congealed animal fat. "This ingredient packs the flavor into a Passover favorite," he says. "Just add the matzah balls to your grandmother’s favorite chicken soup base!"