Passover begins on Friday, and of course, we’re planning our seder menu. But when there is matzo in the house, there is admittedly only one thing on our mind.
Matzo is significant during Passover when unleavened bread is forbidden by tradition, hence flat and crispy matzo. And while you can certainly make homemade matzo (some homemade versions may even be soft, like a flour tortilla), the commercial versions are great for snacking or as an ingredient in cakes, candies (really!), beloved matzo ball soup, and one of the most overlooked comfort foods of all time: matzo brei.
If you aren’t familiar with matzo brei, you may not be reading enough Ruch Reichl, who writes about the three-ingredient, five-minute dish with the passion one usually reserves for a Michelin-star dinner (or pizza).
Matzo brei is, simply put, eggs scrambled with butter and damp (yes, damp) matzo. Like any comfort food passed on by grandmas—specifically, Bubbes—there are a multitude of variations on the method, though the general routine remains the same: break matzo into bite-sized pieces, run it under water until it is soaked through, then add it to the pan with butter and eggs to scramble.
In some versions of matzo brei, the matzo is so soaked and broken down that it is hardly recognizable in the finished dish. You may even see it cooked in one big piece, like a pancake. But we love a bit of crispness to the matzo, and so we rinse it until it is just soft and then fry it in butter before adding the eggs. Your matzo will still be tender, but the edges will be toasty and golden brown... Is this making you hungry?
If you want to take it up a notch, you could add a sweet component to your dish, like a drizzle of honey or a dollop of jam. You may be tempted to sprinkle herbs for a pop of color, but the joy of this dish is that it shines in its simplicity, so don’t go overboard.
If you’re skeptical, that makes sense. This dish does not market itself well. So please take our word (and the word of Bubbes the world over) that this is worth the very minimal effort. Adding matzo brei to your repertoire is like rediscovering an old sweater. You won’t know how you ever got by without it.