Sunday is Easter, the day when Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. Millions of Americans will mark the occasion by attending church services, then gathering with friends and family for a big meal, and an Easter egg hunt. The egg hunting part is still a mystery, but that’s what we do.
This year, Easter coincides with the weeklong Jewish holiday of Passover (April 14-22) which celebrates the liberation of Israelite slaves from Egypt. For anyone with friends and family of one or both denominations, chances are it will be a busy weekend, and one full of food and festivities.
During the seven days of Passover, certain foods are prohibited, so if you’re hosting a brunch or lunch and know an invited guest will be observing the holiday, you’ll want to accommodate them. Below, we have a few tips and Passover-friendly recipes that will make you the best hostess ever!
The most notable dietary restriction during Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is the forbiddance of leavened and fermented grain products. During Passover, most grains, breads, pasta and crackers (known as chametz) are not allowed, so bakers need to get creative. Luckily, unleavened bread, or “matzah,” takes its place.
What To Do with Matzah
Matzah Lasagna: Soak the matzah in room temperature water for about 2-3 minutes until they’re slightly soggy (but not mushy). Layer them with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and your favorite vegetables, such as eggplant or spinach and pop it into the oven. Bake until the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbly.
More Matzah Recipes
A fat honey ham is a popular entree during most Easter celebrations, but if your guests are keeping Kosher, you might want to have another meat available. For this meal, brisket is the perfect choice.
Other popular foods eaten during Passover include:
- Roasted potatoes
- Vegetables (roasted or in salad form)
- Spices and Herbs
The Quinoa Controversy
Though it’s still up for debate, in some groups, quinoa is considered to be a mostly accepted food because it’s a plant and not a grain. Recently the Orthodox Union, the head honchos of all things kosher, ruled that certain quinoa could carry their symbol of approval.
The important thing about this weekend is spending time with the people that you love. The Easter/Passover cross-over is a wonderful time to share stories and traditions that will make the celebration even better.