Passover Palate: Passover Breakfasts

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Berries and granola parfait layered dessert
Coprid / iStock / Getty Images Plus

When it comes to Passover, the seder gets all the press. And for good
reason — it is kind of the Super Bowl of holiday meals. But there are a number of other meals that must be consumed during the holiday or we would get awfully hungry.

Today we are here to talk about Passover breakfasts. Taking chametz out of the “most important meal of the day” encourages some creativity. For many of us, breakfast means toast, cereal, oatmeal, a granola bar, muffins — basically all the things that we eschew during the observance of Passover.

But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer or starve. There are plenty of tasty, sustaining, healthy options that will keep you going until lunch while staying true to the rules.

Yogurt offers a great start toward a solid breakfast; you can take it in a number of directions from sweet and fruity to vegetable-savory. Ditto “matzoh scramble” — keep it super traditional with the standard matzoh brei, or be creative with tasty additions. And for this week, we say toast, schmoast. Matzoh is a swell substitute bed for mashed avocados, nut butters or jam.

Yogurt Parfait, Sweet

Serves 1

This offers a basic framework, but you can get as creative as you like — or as adventurous as your pantry permits. Swap out plain or fruit-flavored yogurt, add whatever fruits or nuts you have on hand. I tend to avoid citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits here because the acidity can be a little harsh with the tang of the yogurt, but if you like the combo, then be my guest.

The decision on whether to add seeds presents a divide between Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews. Kitniyot, which includes things like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and legumes, are permitted among many Sephardim, but not in the Ashkenazi tradition. Depending on your background and your family custom, use or don’t use them.

The nuts provide plenty of heft and crunch so if you avoid the seeds I promise you won’t miss them. And you can dump them in with reckless abandon the next week.

This recipe suggests a layering of the ingredients in a glass, which looks pretty but requires some effort. I understand that mornings can be hectic, and this tastes just as delicious with all of the ingredients dumped in a bowl, mixed and gobbled up in a hurry.

  • ⅔ cup vanilla yogurt
  • ⅔ cup fresh or dried fruit — berries, chopped apples, grapes, raisins, dates, etc.
  • ¼ cup nuts — almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, etc. and/or seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, flaxseed, chia
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

In a glass or parfait bowl, layer the ingredients, starting with the ⅓-cup yogurt, ⅓-cup fruit, half the nuts, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Repeat, ending with a sprinkle of nuts, cinnamon and honey, and enjoy.

Yogurt Parfait, Savory

Serves 1

I tend to gravitate toward sweeter flavors at breakfast, but my husband prefers savory. I created this version for those of you who have a palate similar to his.

The concept is the same as above: Use what you have on hand and what you like. I omit the nuts in this version; to me, the texture and flavor of the nuts don’t quite marry with the veggies, but if you love nuts in this context, or if your tradition embraces seeds during Passover, then feel free to add them.

If you don’t feel like artfully arranging this in a pretty glass, then just chuck it all in a bowl and dig in.

  • ⅔ cup plain yogurt
  • ⅔ cup assorted vegetables — chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, parsley
  • Pinch salt/pepper
  • 1 teaspoon best-quality olive oil

In a glass, layer ⅓-cup yogurt, ⅓-cup vegetables, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Repeat; top with a drizzle of olive oil.

Matzoh Scramble

This is a classic Passover dish made with unleavened bread mixed with eggs and caramelized onions
MargoeEdwards / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Serves 2

This version uses caramelized onions and goat cheese, but you can get as creative (or plain) as you like. Tomato/olive/feta; cheddar/broccoli; provolone/spinach; and mascarpone and fig are all fair game.

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • ½ onion, coarsely chopped
  • Pinch salt/pepper
  • 2 sheets matzoh
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅓ cup goat cheese

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onions with the salt and pepper. Cook the onions over low heat until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

While the onions cook, whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl, then break the matzoh into small pieces and add it to the eggs. Allow it to soak for a few minutes. Add the goat cheese — spoon it into the mixture in small bits.

When the onions are caramelized, add the egg mixture to the skillet and scramble until cooked, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately.

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