Mina de Matzo
At the heart of all Jewish cooking lies culinary ingenuity—that is, finding creative ways to eat well, despite Jewish dietary restrictions. It is not surprising, then, that Sephardic Jews managed to adapt their passion for savory pastries—burekas, boyos, pasteles and the like—for Passover. During the weeklong holiday, the phyllo and other doughs that typically encase these parcels and turnovers is verboten. Instead, Sephardic home cooks bake mina de matzo—pies made from softened matzo sheets that are layered, lasagna-style, with fillings like sautéed eggplant and spiced lamb, or cheese, spinach and leeks. Sliced small, mina de matzo (which is sometimes called megina, depending on where it is made) can be served as part of a Passover mezze spread. Presented whole at the table, it also makes a stately and hearty main course—no chametz required.
Leah Koenig is the author of Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today’s Kitchen and The Little Book of Jewish Appetizers.