Matzo Magic — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Holidays, March 19th, 2013

Matzo for PassoverI didn’t grow up eating matzo, but I was always intrigued by it, almost jealous in a way because it wasn’t part of my Catholic upbringing. I can see all of my Jewish friends rolling their eyes as they read this. One bite of matzo and you soon realize, on its own, there’s nothing to write home about.

What makes matzo so special is the significance it carries during the Jewish holiday of Passover, in which leavened products are forbidden (read more about why here). Matzo is made using just flour and water, resulting in a thin, very crisp cracker essentially. It became a part of my culinary world when I met my husband, Mikey, who was Jewish, 18 years ago. While he wasn’t observant, the holidays were rituals he celebrated regardless. And so, each year as Passover came around, matzo became a part of my cooking repertoire. In its most-simple form, I love eating matzo slathered with butter and a drizzle of some good honey.

Last year, a friend on Twitter mentioned the daily specials at her family’s restaurant, Paper or Plastik Café, in Los Angeles. Marina had me at hello when she said they were using matzo as a flatbread-like base for crostini and bruschetta toppings. Here are a few recipes I came across for traditional bruschetta and crostini in Food Network’s files. Simply swap out the toasted bread and use matzo in its place. Keep in mind that some of the recipes contain cheese and may need tweaking, depending on what you’re serving for the rest of your meal, since kosher law forbids mixing meat and dairy products. In that case, you can just omit the cheese and proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.

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