How to Cook with… Matzah?

Mar 30, 2017  |  By Shira Goldstein

I’ll preface with an apology: I mean no offense to those of you that like matzah. I’m sure there are some people out there who count down to their yearly matzah binge and even relish the idea of chewing through sheet after sheet of crunchy cracker.

But… I’m in the second, larger group of people. Passover isn’t even here yet and I’m already sick of matzah. Dry, crispy and fairly bland, the thought of lifting another dry sheet to lips that are never quite lubricated enough to take on the challenge is unappealing at best.

However, one must face reality: Pesach is coming which means for a week, bread and its popular wheaty contemporaries (I’m looking at you, pasta) are literally off the table. While possibly not the healthiest or most exciting choice, these foods are often the mainstays of our diet and without them, potatoes get really boring really fast.

With few other options – especially for strict, non-rice-eating Ashkenazi Jews – we reluctantly turn back to matzah, willing it to turn into something palatable. Here are a few suggestions for when you can’t stomach any more matzah shards, broken from your attempts to spread butter across its pockmarked surface:

Matzah Pizza

This is a classic, and it’s really simple to put together. Place matzah on a baking sheet; top with tomato sauce, shredded cheese and any vegetables you feel like; bake until the cheese is bubbling and melting.

Vegetarian Matzah Lasagne

The advanced matzah cook’s answer to the matzah pizza: use matzah sheets in place of flat lasagna noodles to create a wholesome, filling Passover main course. Spread a little tomato sauce in the base of a baking dish; layer matzah sheets with cheese, vegetables and more tomato sauce; repeat until the dish is full. Drizzle with olive oil and top with cheese, then bake until it the cheese has bubbled into a golden-brown delight!

Matzah Brei

I can never quite decide if this eggy concoction is ingenious or insulting, but we eat it for breakfast throughout Passover. Per person: in a medium bowl, beat two eggs with a little milk or water, then break up 1 – 2 sheets of matzah and leave so soak in the eggs. Season generously, then tip the mixture into a hot, lightly oiled frying pan. Scramble until the eggs are cooked, then serve straight away.

Dessert ideas include toasting broken matzah and mixing with nuts, dried fruit, honey and chocolate chips to make Passover-friendly granola and trail mix, or grated orange zest into melted chocolate and spreading this on to matzah shards to make chocolate bark.

What’s your favorite Pesach recipe? Let us know in the comments!

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