Ah, Passover. Though only eight days, the Jewish holiday that forbids flour feels much longer — especially to food lovers. Dry, crumbly matzo — the flat, unleavened bread eaten throughout the holiday — leaves much to be desired (and often prompts dreams of dancing bagels and pizza pies). But when mixed with surprising ingredients, standard-issue Passover fare becomes…dare we say…delicious?
Matzo ball soup (shown above) is a classic dish consumed at Jewish holidays year-round, but the delicate, fluffy balls aren’t easy to perfect. Far too often our soups are saddled down with dense rocks that’d be better fit as paperweights. Mix earthy, moisture-retaining shiitake mushrooms and fragrant truffle oil into your balls and we guarantee a soup that blows your grandmother’s out of the bowl.
The eggy breakfast scramble known as matzo brei (prepared as either sweet or savory) always seems to disappoint. If you soak the matzo in water (or milk) for too long, it loses crispness; if you take it out too quickly, the end result is a dry, unpalatable mess. But when dryer matzo (soak for three minutes, max) is combined with watery spinach and crispy, fried onions, it rivals our favorite egg dishes (with crunch, to boot).
After gnawing our way through wannabe cakes and cookies (coconut macaroons can be delicious, but they’re not for everyone), the discovery of this Passover fruit cobbler pretty much made our week. Seasonal fruits are baked with a cinnamon-sugar-matzo crumb topping that tastes like a buttery, graham cracker crust. Serve with ice cream, close your eyes and start dreaming of summer — it’s just around the corner.
Click through our gallery of top 10 Passover recipes.