Matzo brei with za'atar and labneh
I don't know why matzo brei is so delicious, but it is. It's one of those dishes that is delicious with all sorts of flavors. My mother likes to eat it sweet. I prefer it savory with a dab of sour cream. This recipe is infused with the flavors of Mizrahi (Jews from the Middle East and North Africa) cuisine. Labneh is a rich, fermented dairy cream similar to smetana and creme fraiche. It has a nice tang that goes really well as a garnish for matzo brei.
Even though my blog is for sharing Jewish food, I always wonder about how to approach Israeli/Palestinian food. I want to honor the food culture that my Israeli family eats, the blend of Middle Eastern and Ashkenazi foods that tastes like home. But I also can't share Israeli food without acknowledging its inextricable connection to Palestinian food. Many Palestians, particularly those in Gaza, no longer have access to safe food sources, let alone the means to make their heritage dishes. There is a movement to restore Palestinian heritage agriculture in the West Bank—and I think supporting that movement is critical to how I eat Israeli food in the diaspora. I use za'atar spice from Canaan Fair Trade, which supports Palestinian agriculture. Canaan Fair Trade za'atar uses true za'atar (wild thyme) herb from Palestine; they also sell fair trade olive oil from heirloom Palestinian olive varieties. I urge you to consider supporting Palestinian workers and agriculture by buying these products from a fair trade source.
I made this with Yehuda brand gluten free matzo. If you choose to use a glutenous brand, I recommend using an egg matzo as it is less dry and makes for a fluffier dish.
This recipe uses a simple ratio of 1 slice matzo: 2 large eggs: 1/2 tbsp butter per serving. This recipe makes three servings, but it is easy to adjust.
3 slices Yehuda gluten free matzo or egg matzo
6 large eggs
1.5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp za'atar spice, plus more for serving
1/2 tsp sumac
salt, to taste
a nice scoop of labneh, for serving
chopped mint and parsley, to garnish (optional)
Beat the eggs with a splash of water until they are frothy and uniform.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Run each of the sheets of matzo under warm water. Crumble over the frying pan and stir until the butter is absorbed and matzo is softened.
Pour the egg mixture over the matzo. Sprinkle in the za'atar, sumac, and salt (use a light hand with the salt if your za'atar and matzo are both salted). Turn to medium low and stir frequently until eggs are just cooked through.
Garnish with herbs and labneh.