Shortly after I announced my pregnancy, my friends and family who became mommies
before me welcomed me into their club by sharing all their tips, tricks, and anecdotes of
pregnancy, labor, and early motherhood. Just when I thought I understood the basics of
baby care, a friend of mine threw me a curveball. “Remember to sign up for PJ Library!,”
she said. PJ Library? How is it that as a lifelong bookworm, I had never heard of such a
thing? “PJ Library,” she said, “is a program that sends free Jewish bedtime stories and
music directly to your child every month.” This sounded too good to be true. She
explained to me that all I had to do was sign up, and my baby would get to look forward
to a monthly contribution to his Jewish library. Naturally, I was very excited about our
son receiving free books, as I am of the school of thought that a child can never have too
many books, and when I learned that I had to wait until after my child was born to
register him for the program, I put a reminder in my calendar to sign up a week after his
due date, just in case he decided to stay a while. Shortly thereafter, I shared the word
about this program to everyone I knew, and I had definitely drank the proverbial Kool-
aid, because I didn’t want any of my friends to miss out on the opportunity for free
books. PJ Library had quickly become one of my favorite topics of conversation, and
earned a special place in my heart.
Imagine my delight when I heard that my new favorite program was partnering with my preferred matzo brand, Yehuda Matzos. I’ve never been more excited to get cracking on
my Passover recipes! Every year around this time, I am bombarded with requests for new
and exciting recipes that are kosher for Passover. The truth is, I believe that you don’t
actually have to try all that hard to keep Passover, and I jokingly call Passover meal-
planning G-d’s low-carb diet. There are plenty of foods and recipes out there that require
no leavening (hello, flourless chocolate cake), and I usually limit my matzo consumption
to the seder table. This year, however, in honor of the great pairing, my meal plan for
these 8 days will most certainly be matzo-centric, and highlight some of the ways my
family indulges in this little Jewish cracker.
First up, I’ll be enjoying my Roasted Broccoli Florets with Lemon Garlic Matzo Crumbs.
If easy is what you’re looking for, then this is the recipe for you. I understand that
broccoli may not be a favorite for many, but I argue that’s because you’ve probably never
roasted it before. There’s something magical that happens when deep green broccoli
meets a hot oven and emerges with a gentle char, and I so stand by this recipe, as I’ve
converted plenty of cruciferous haters with it. Plus, the combination of sweet and pungent
roasted garlic married with vibrant and refreshingly tart lemon zest perfumes the matzo
crumbs in such a way that it won’t take long for this dish to become a heavily-requested
staple on any Passover table.
- 1 lb. broccoli crown, cut into florets
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, separated
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sheets of Yehuda matzo, or 1 cup matzo farfel
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 large lemon, zest reserved
- 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from that lemon you just zested)
- 1 Tbs. Italian parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Drizzle 1 Tbs. of olive oil over the broccoli florets and sprinkle with salt and pepper to
- taste. Toss to coat, and lay flat and in a single layer on a baking dish or cast-iron skillet.
- Roast in oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the matzo sheets in a plastic bag, seal the bag with as little air in it as
- possible, and use a rolling pin to crush the sheets into small pieces. (*Note: this is a fun
- step for kids to help.)
- Once the matzo is crushed into crumbs, drizzle with 1 Tbs. olive oil, add the garlic,
- lemon zest, and Italian parsley. Reseal the bag, and shake to combine mixture.
- Remove the broccoli from the oven, drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle the matzo
- crumb mixture on top.
- Return to the oven for 15 minutes, or until matzo crumbs are golden brown and broccoli
- is tender.
- Serve immediately.
*Note: I am working in conjunction with PJ Library on several recipes featuring Yehuda Matzos. Although I am being compensated for my recipes, my opinions expressed regarding Yehuda Matzo are honest and entirely my own.