While I love Passover, I find breakfast the most challenging meal during the holiday of unleavened bread. Removing foods made with flour and grains from breakfast menus means digging deep into the creative side of my brain.
During the holiday’s eight days, I shy away from making eggs because so many eggs are consumed at Passover lunches and dinners. I serve a lot of fruit with yogurt or cottage cheese.
On some mornings, I break sheets of matzah into quarters and layer on my family’s favorite toppings. They can be as simple as butter and jelly. But I also think out of the box with goat cheese, sliced pears and roasted walnuts — or avocado wedges, thinly sliced tomato and scallions. I sometimes go upscale with cream cheese and lox dotted with capers for flair.
But midway through Passover, my family and I seek something more exalted for breakfast. No matter how many inspired matzah toppings I’ve invented, we miss bagels, muffins and granola. While we cleave to unleavened bread during Passover, we long for the foods we’re accustomed to during the rest of the year: French toast, pancakes and popovers.
I turn to my recipe file, which is full of Passover breakfast confections. They are a bit time consuming to prepare but no more difficult to finesse than waffles or muffins.
Although it needs to be made in advance, Passover granola is a lifesaver on busy mornings. My family adores my matzah brie, which is crunchier than most. I have a friend whose fondest memories of Passovers past revolve around her mother baking a fresh batch of Passover bagels every morning. She can still smell them wafting up the stairs to her bedroom.
If you’re willing to turn on the oven or melt butter in a skillet, there’s a cornucopia of flourless breakfast fare that will fill your kitchen with the sweet aroma of pastry baking in the oven. This granola is a good start.
Passover Granola | Dairy
Equipment: 9-by-13-inch Pyrex or oven-proof pan.
½ cup raisins
¼ cup pitted dates, cut into 3-4 slices
Unsalted butter to grease the pan,
plus 2 tablespoons
2 cups matzah farfel
¾ cup walnuts, chopped
⅔ cup honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Accompaniment: milk, yogurt and/or fruit
Soak the raisins and sliced dates in 2 cups of warm water for 30 minutes. Reserve. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Coat the oven-proof pan with enough butter to generously cover all surfaces. Cut each of the 2 tablespoons of butter into 8 pieces, 16 pieces in all. Reserve. Drain the raisins and dates in a colander. Move them into a large bowl. Add the matzah farfel, walnuts, honey, cinnamon and salt. With a spoon utensil, mix until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Dot the top surface with the small pieces of butter. Bake until the mixture turns golden brown, about 90 minutes. Turn the granola every 5 minutes, making sure it is not sticking or burning. Add more butter, if needed. Remove from the oven if the granola is turning dark brown. Cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container. Serve in cereal bowls with milk or yogurt and fruit. Consume immediately after adding milk, as Passover granola gets soggy quite quickly. Recipe can be eaten dry as a snack.
Yield: 5 cups JN