Prep Serves
10 minutes Serves 2

Matzah Brei with Ramp Pesto for Passover

A pungent flavor addition to a traditional holiday staple.

Sweet or savory? Crisp or soggy? The options for matzah brei are endless. Some like matzah brei sweet, as a stand-in for french toast or pancakes. Others prefer to take the savory route, creating a matzah omelette with vegetables and cheese.

Fortunately, since Passover is late this year, even those of us in the Northeast have lots of seasonal produce to choose from. It’s late spring, and an abundance of bitter herbs, fresh greens, spring onions and horseradish are surfacing from thawed-out soils. They’re at the farmers market alongside a diversity of fall’s apples, pears, and root vegetables which are still bright and crisp from cold storage.

As luck would have it, Passover also overlaps with ramp season this year.

Ramps herald the official transition from winter to spring. They taste like garlic but look like pink, skinny scallions with leaves. Wild and foraged, they emerge at their own will, giving them a special, pungent flavor of unruly good fortune. For 8 short weeks in mid- to late-spring, ramps are anticipated by foragers, farmers market-goers, and restaurant chefs alike. Arrive early to claim your prize.

If you can’t find ramps, look for them in a well-stocked local produce section of a grocery store like Whole Foods. If that fails, any seasonal mixture of fresh herbs and greens will do! I’ve included two pesto recipes below that will work for you wherever you are, and whatever the season.

Ingredients

  • 3 matzah sheets
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp milk or non-dairy milk
  • salt to taste
  • pepper

Ramp Pesto:

  • 1 bunch of ramps, use entire plant except for the roots
  • 1/2 cup basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated parm
  • sea salt

Market Pesto: can be made any time of year

  • 1/2 cup toasted nuts
  • 3 cups herbs (could be a mix of basil, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, mint etc)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated parm
  • sea salt

Directions

  1. First, make the pesto. Blend 1 Tbsp of the olive oil with all other pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor for 10-15 seconds. Once your base is evenly combined, keep blending while you slowly add the rest of the olive oil until you’ve reached your desired consistency. I like my pesto chunky while others prefer it smooth. Set aside.
  2. Next, prepare the matzah brei. Break matzah into shards of roughly 1-2″ pieces. Soak matzah in a bowl of water for 20-30 seconds, then drain and squeeze out excess water.
  3. Whisk eggs in a bowl with salt and milk or non-dairy milk. Add 1 Tbsp oil to a pan and heat on medium. Add matzah pieces to the pan and toss quickly to coat it in oil.
  4. Pour egg mixture into the skillet, gently incorporating the matzah in with the eggs. Scramble over medium heat for 2 minutes, constantly lifting and flipping the matzah brei so that it doesn’t become too dry or burnt.
  5. Just before serving, fold some pesto into your matzah brei. The amount you add is up to you! The pesto recipe above yields much more than you’ll need, so you’ll have extra pesto to use throughout the week.

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