3-Ingredient Matzo Sandwiches for Passover

Composite photo of many open-faced matzo sandwiches with different toppings

[Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt]

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Sandwiches

Tips and tricks for making the best sandwiches at home.

Inspired by this fun piece on two-ingredient sandwiches from Saveur, we decided to pull a seven-minute abs and produce our own set of simple sandwiches, this time using three ingredients. Not strikingly original, elegant, or even poetic, but definitely delicious.

In celebration of Passover, almost all* of these sandwiches are kosher—at least, to the degree that we can decipher the complicated kosher laws—and we've constructed all of 'em on matzo, which, Erin points out, is like constructing them on almost nothing at all. You get a bit of crunch, but really it's the flavor of the toppings that ends up dominating the experience. Matzo does have a tendency to soak up liquid and get soggy very fast, so for best results, eat the sandwiches within a few minutes of construction. Somehow we don't think that'll be a problem.

* If you don't eat beans or mustard during Passover, just skip over the sandwiches that incorporate those ingredients.

Refried Beans, Avocado, and Radish

A piece of matzo layered with refried beans, avocado, and thin radish slices, sprinkled with sea salt, next to a couple of whole radishes

A sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a squeeze of lime wouldn't hurt.

Aged Gouda, Marcona Almonds, and Honey

A piece of matzo layered with cheese, halved almonds, and a drizzle of honey, next to a spoon and ramekin of honey

We used a 36-month aged Gouda, packed with crunchy crystals of tyrosine that crackle under your teeth as you chew. Marcona almonds and honey provide a great sweet/savory balance to the cheese. So simple, so good.

Blue Cheese, Grapes, and Balsamic Syrup

A piece of matzo layered with crumbles of blue cheese, sliced grapes, and drizzles of balsamic vinegar syrup

The blue is Bayley Hazen Blue from Jasper Hill Farm, one of my favorites from Vermont. Sweet sliced grapes and balsamic syrup bring out its funky flavors. You can buy premade balsamic syrup, or just mix a cup of supermarket balsamic vinegar with a half cup of sugar and reduce it until it's thick and syrupy.

Mayo and Tomatoes With Basil

A piece of matzo layered with mayonnaise, tomato slices, and basil leaves, next to a butter knife, whole tomatoes, and more basil leaves

Even in the winter, it's possible to get good hydroponic tomatoes these days. The smaller varieties are picked riper (because they are less fragile) and taste better. Avoid large tomatoes in the winter. Black pepper and crunchy sea salt are a must.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Anchovies

A piece of matzo layered with sun-dried tomatoes, anchovy fillets, and sliced olives

The flavors of a classic Niçoise pissalladière: oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes on the base, with anchovies and Niçoise olives on top.

Tapenade, Tuna, and Roasted Peppers

A piece of matzo layered with tuna, roasted red peppers, and olive tapenade

For this one, we spread store-bought olive tapenade on the matzo, then pile on big chunks of oil-packed tuna and strips of roasted red pepper.

Smoked Salmon, Grapefruit, and Fennel

A piece of matzo layered with grapefruit suprèmes, shaved fennel, and smoked salmon, sprinkled with fennel fronds

A light salad of shaved fennel and grapefruit dressed with grapefruit juice and olive oil, along with slices of smoked salmon.

Cheddar, Apples, and Mustard

A piece of matzo layered with slices of cheese and apple and dabs of mustard, next to a spoonful of mustard

A classic combination: spicy Dijon mustard, sharp aged cheddar cheese (we used 16-month Irish Kerrygold), and sliced apples.

Goat Cheese, Cucumber, and Sriracha

Two pieces of matzo spread with goat cheese and topped with sliced cucumber and dots of sriracha, next to a few more slices of cucumber

We swap out the customary cream cheese for more flavorful goat cheese. A drizzle of Shark brand sriracha (we prefer it to the ubiquitous Huy Fong brand) tops it off. We would have been happy with a drizzle of Frank's as well.

Cottage Cheese, Lemon Zest, and Parsley

Several pieces of matzo topped with cottage cheese, parsley leaves, and lemon zest

Fresh cottage cheese scattered with lemon zest and parsley, along with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil that finds its way into all of the nooks and crannies.

Burrata, Strawberries, and Pine Nuts

Two pieces of matzo topped with burrata, sliced strawberries, and pine nuts, next to two whole strawberries

If you thought strawberries and cream were good, you should take strawberries and burrata for a spin.