Breaking Pesach Like a True Hazon-Nik

our post-Pesach feast

Marking the end of Pesach with pizza and beer has become such a part of the holiday for me, that it almost has religious importance at this point. Of course it doesn’t really, but just as so many Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas, one could argue that keeping such rituals still are an important part of our Jewish identity.

While my family seder didn’t vary much from it has years past, my breaking of Pesach did. While the usual tradition has been to go out a neighborhood pizza joint, this year we did things differently. Having been gone for a week, we had lots of CSA veggies in the house I was wanting to use up. We also had sourdough starter, still alive from the Hazon Food Conference (yes, we are the push-the-chametz-to-the-back-of-the-fridge type of Jews, not the get-the-chametz-out-of-the-house kind. Not to mention that my husband, who has lovingly tended to that starter like it’s a living thing since the conference, was not about to see it be tossed away).

Using our starter, we used this pizza crust recipe. I sauteed up some green garlic and dandelion greens from our CSA box. Sliced mushrooms and caramelized onions were added too, (onion from the farmer’s market, mushrooms from the store). Fontina and fresh mozzarella also came from the store (while we have made our own in the past, we didn’t have time this time.) Our salad was also largely from our CSA box, the lettuce and carrots came from our box, a beet from the farmer’s market, and avocado from the store. Even some of our flour came from Eatwell Farm, the farm we get our box from. While they don’t include it as part of our box due to some members’ allergies, one can buy it from them at a farmer’s market or other means. We used a mixture of the farm’s whole-wheat and white bread flour from the store.

We rounded out the meal not with Sam Adams or Anchor Steam or any known brand of beer; we each had a glass of East Bay Lovin’, the home brew my husband Paulie makes every so often with his friend Michael.

So while we still broke Pesach with pizza and beer, we did so with our own unique twist, and it tasted that much better.

A side note: while dandelion greens on their own can be quite bitter, they make a fabulous pizza topping with very mild cheese like those we used.

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11 Responses to “Breaking Pesach Like a True Hazon-Nik”

  1. WoolSilkCotton Says:

    Your pizza looks great!

    I was so pleased to read about your ‘traditional’ pizza-and-beer to end Passover. I guess I’m not the only one! And I, too, am a push-the-chametz-to-the-back-of-the-fridge type of Jew, and it’s good to know I am not alone with that, either.

    Paulie Gee is the ultimate pizza man. I live down the street from King Paulie. Please contact him with your pizza ideas! He’d love to hear about new toppings!

  2. Liz Lawler Says:

    I’m on a mission to perfect my pizza crust. So, allow me to ask: does this make for a thin crust pizza? And what of the flavor? Is it overly sourdoughish?
    I’m inspired by this, but paralyzed by my past pizza failures….. :)

  3. Asparagus Soup Says:

    We were going to do this also (as pizza and beer is the custom here too), but our pesach dishes and silverware and whatnot were all still in the kitchen, so we didn’t want to bring chametz into the kitchen yet. We went to a restaurant known for its local and organic foods instead.

  4. The Healthy Librarian Says:

    I was wondering how a “True Hazon-nik” would traditionally break Pesach.

    It’s always pizza in my house too! I finally came up with a more than worthy substitute for a spicy “sausage” cheese pizza. It’s definitely a winner. I owe it all to Isa Chandra Moskowitz of Vegan with a Vengeance! I adapted it from some of her recipes.

    The crust: courtesy of Trader Joe’s.

    My Scrumptious Vegan Kosher Real Food Sausage Basil “Cheese” Pizza

    Scroll straight on down to the middle of the page for the recipe!

  5. alix Says:

    Liz, everyone has their own taste, of course. This did make for a thin crust, and we loved it. It is a bit sour, but not too much (the wheat flour cuts it a bit, I think). I can’t tell you for sure whether you’ll like it, all I can say is that we loved it, and that I would definitely make it again!

  6. Naf Says:

    We composted our starter, as we did last year before pesach.. But, I also gave a bit to a non-Jewish friend… If she kept it alive and well over pesach I’m going to see if I can get a bit back from her… But, Anna made challah right after pesach with flour from our grinder and started a new starter with some leftover flour… It’s already going like mad (it basically doubled overnight) after just a couple days and we are having pizza tomorrow night…
    Here is my never-fail super easy pizza dough recipe…

    My sourdough pizza crust recipe…
    Make it in the morning with the food processor, and come home to perfect sourdough pizza crust….
    (adapted from my mother’s pizza crust recipe to use with sourdough)
    Spray the bowl with oil before you start for super-easy clean-up…

    2 cups white flour
    2 cups white whole wheat flour OR
    1 cup white whole wheat
    1 cup freshly ground wheat/rye/spelt flour

    Pinch of salt
    1 cup ACTIVE sourdough starter
    1+ cups of lukewarm water

    Place dry ingredients in food processor, then add sourdough starter and 1 cup of water.

    Pulse briefly.

    Add more water slowly (until you get the feel for the recipe) and keep pulsing the dough.
    You are at the right amount when the dough whips up into a ball and starting turning around the bowl (It all happens so fast… so make sure you are pulsing).
    You want the ball to turn around the processor 3 times, then it should be ready..
    Pour out right into a greased bowl and knead for 15-30 seconds to finish…
    Cover with plastic wrap
    OR add a tablespoon of oil to the bowl and turn the dough to fully coat it and cover the bowl with a moist towel.

    Leave the dough in a warmish spot to rise all day.

    Makes 2 medium pies… Relatively thin crust. The sourness really depends on the starter…
    Can be doubled, tripled, and maybe more!

  7. Arlyn Boltax Says:

    Your pizza looks delish. Nice touch w. the dandelion greens! I’d love to hear folks’ starter recipes. Used to make sourdough alot, then we went gluten free, but we’re off that bandwagon now and ready for the good stuff-so please do share (we dont currently grind our own grain)

  8. alix Says:

    thanks for the recipe, Naf! The one I posted didn’t rise at all, I just left it 30 minutes as it said so it was a flat crust, but still very delicious. I will try yours next time, as I have no problems using a food processor.

  9. Delilah Says:

    ooh, ooh I had home made pizza this year too, a new tradition started last year. Had wine this year, though, rather than beer as that is what our dinner guest wanted to drink.

  10. Adam Jackson, Editor-in-Chief Says:

    The pizza sounds really delicious — an unusual and intriguing combination of ingredients. It reminds me, in its use of the bitter dandelion greens with a rich-tasting cheese, of a radicchio-potato-gorgonzola pizza I ate once in Rome.

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