One thing that can be said about us Jews is that we like to eat, and we approach our holidays with hungry anticipation. Passover, in particular, is a time for indulging.
As Juliana mentioned in her previous post, the seder table presents a decadent feast. From charoset and matzo ball soup to braised brisket and roast chicken, coconut macaroons, flourless chocolate cake, and the beloved Matzoh Toffee.
But as the days wear on, most of us eventually tire of that ubiquitous Passover staple, matzoh. After all, one can only eat so much of the bland crackers before crying dayenu.
This bright, fresh, kosher for Passover salad—a take on the popular Middle Eastern bread salad called fattoush—gives the plain crackers new life.
Spiced, baked matzo “chips” replace the usual flat bread, but other than that, this hearty salad packs all the fresh herby, tangy, spicy flavor you expect from fattoush.
The spiced matzo chips can be made a couple of days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container on the countertop. I’d advise you to make extra as they are rather addictive and go surprisingly well with sharp cheddar cheese.
Adapted from a recipe for Mediterranean Fatoush from Passover by Design, by Susie Fishbein, that appeared on Epicurious. The original recipe called for “shwarma spice.” Not wanting to make a special trip to a Middle Eastern market, I simply made up my own spice mix, which can also be used as a dry rub for meats. If you have easy access to a Middle Eastern market or happen to have a jar of shwarma spice on hand, feel free to substitute it. I also substituted radishes for the endive and microgreens for the arugula to highlight the springiness of this salad.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
For the spice mixture:
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
For the matzo chips:
4 whole matzo boards
Olive oil or olive oil spray
1 tablespoon spice mixture
For the salad:
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces
1/8 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves, minced
1/8 cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
½ pint small grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch small radishes, cut into small wedges
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 small handfuls microgreens
To make the spice mixture:
In a small bowl or jar, combine all ingredients. Stir to mix well.
To make the matzo chips:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Generously coat the matzo boards with olive oil. Sprinkle each board on both sides with the spice mixture, knocking off excess.
Place boards on prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, break into irregular pieces, and set aside.
To make the salad:
In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, mint, and parsley.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Add the microgreens and stir again to coat. Let sit several minutes before serving.
To serve, stand the matzo chips around the edge of the bowl in a decorative fashion. Serve extra chips along side, directing guests to crumple them over the salad like croutons.
Jewish recipes are the heart of every Jewish holiday celebration. There’s a special dish (or five!) for every occasion, from the high holidays to Shabbat dinners! Here are my favorite Jewish recipes for the holidays or any day.
Brisket is braised in a mixture of red wine, beef broth, dried fruit, and North African spices for a Mediterranean take on the traditional Jewish holiday dish. This recipe was adapted from a recipe by Jayne Cohen in Bon Appetit.
You can make a gluten-free version by substituting gluten-free brown rice flour for the flour. You can also jazz up the recipe by adding thinly sliced scallions or substituting sweet potatoes, parsnips, or apples for some (or all) of the potatoes. This recipe serves about 4 people and is easily doubled or tripled.
This Instant Pot hummus from scratch starts with dried chickpeas and takes less than an hour to make—and that's start to finish time. There's no need to soak the beans. The result is lush, rich, creamy, and full of flavor.
This is a great way to use up leftover cooked couscous. The dressing can be whisked together in a bowl, but is especially easy to make in a food processor—chop the parsley leaves in the processor first, then add the other ingredients and process until smooth.
Ground lamb is mixed with lots of fresh herbs, aromatics, and spices and then grilled on skewers. I like to serve these with pita bread, hummus, tzatziki, harissa or chermoula, and a salad of romaine, cucumbers, and tomatoes with lemon dressing. Brown basmati rice is a great accompaniment as well.
Pita bread is surprisingly easy to make and watching the rounds puff up in the oven is so, so satisfying. Use them for sandwiches or cut them into triangles and use them to scoop savory Middle Eastern dips like my Instant Pot Hummus, baba ganoush, or tzatziki.
This bright, fresh, kosher for Passover salad—a take on the popular Middle Eastern bread salad called fattoush—gives the plain crackers new life. Spiced, baked matzo “chips” replace the usual flat bread, but other than that, this hearty salad packs all the fresh herby, tangy, spicy flavor you expect from fattoush.
Sufganiyot are traditional Israeli jelly donuts often eaten during Hanukkah, along with other fried foods. Because, of course, fried foods celebrate the miracle of the oil! This recipe makes a simple, lightly sweetened fried dough that can be filled with jelly or the fillling of your choice and dusted with powdered sugar.
Israeli Salad, distinguished by finely diced tomatoes and cucumbers, is described (by Wikipedia) as "the most well-known national dish of Israel." Variations on the theme are limitless. Our version includes hard boiled eggs and feta cheese.