Some tasty treats for the joyous harvest festival.
Special to the Jewish News
oday is the first day of
Sukkot. Less than a week
after the most solemn and
introspective holiday of the
year, Yom Kippur, comes a festival
that's among the most symbolic —
and joyous — in Judaism.
Sukkot is most recognized by the
booths, or sukkot in Hebrew, which
pop up propped next to Jewish homes
around the world. These three- or
four-sided additions are a kind of tem-
porary housing, representative of the
temporary shelters used during the 40
years of wandering after the Exodus
from Egypt by the Israelites.
So, for the next eight or nine days
(because Shmini Atzeret and Simchat
Torah are usually considered part of
the Sukkot festival), observant Jews
will celebrate Sukkot by living in, or at
least eating every meal in their booths.
Many will host parties for honored
guests. What to serve can be as simple
or elaborate as you wish. Since this is a
religious as well as a harvest festival,
it's customary to serve fruits and veg-
etables of the season.
The following recipes are great to
serve during Sukkot. And they can
be doubled or tripled if you're host-
ing a crowd.
CHEESY SQUASH AND
1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie shell, baked
unfilled, according to package direc-
2 T. butter
2 cups chopped onions
2 t. brown sugar
3 cups cooked, pureed butternut
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whipping cream (not
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 T. dried parsley flakes
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Pre-heat oven to 375F. Melt butter
over medium heat in a large non-
stick skillet. Add the onions and raise
the heat to medium-high. Cook, stir-
ring often, until the onions are soft,
about 10 minutes. Add the brown
sugar and cook until very golden
brown, about 10 minutes more.
Allow to cool to warm (or make up
to a day ahead). Set aside.
Combine squash, eggs and cream in
a large bowl and mix with an electric
mixer until smooth. Add the cheeses,
parsley, salt and pepper and mix well.
Mix in the onions. Pour the mixture
into the cooked pie shell and sprinkle
with the breadcrumbs.
Bake the pie, uncovered, for 40-50
minutes, until the filling is set. Cool
and serve warm or at room tempera-
ture. Makes 8 dinner-sized servings.
QUICK SPINACH, GARLIC
AND FETA PIZZA
1 (16 oz.) pre-made pizza crust (like
olive oil for brushing over crust
2-3 plum tomatoes, sliced into thin
1 cup fresh baby spinach
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crumbles feta cheese
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 t. dried basil leaves
1/2 t. dried oregano
Pre-heat oven to 450F. Brush pizza
crust lightly with olive oil. Arrange
tomato slices over the crust and top
with spinach. Dot with garlic.
Sprinkle the onions over and top with
the two cheeses. Season to taste with
salt and pepper and sprinkle the basil
and oregano over.
Place the "pizza" on a baking sheet
or pizza stone. Bake for 15 minutes or
until the topping is melted and bub-
bly. Makes 8 servings.
4-INGREDIENT LIME GRILLED
Slice the breasts into thin slices on the
diagonal and serve with small rolls and
assorted mustards or over a salad with
a side of salsa.
1 1/2 cups prepared salsa
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
8 (about 2 1/2 pounds) boneless and
skinless chicken breasts, visible fat
Combine salsa, lime and oil in a
medium bowl and whisk well. Add
the chicken and turn to coat. Cover
with plastic wrap and chill for 3
hours or more.
Heat grill to medium-high. Remove
chicken from the marinade and grill
on both sides until just cooked
through, about 5 minutes per side (do
not overcook). Serve the chicken hot
or allow the chicken to cool to the
touch. Slice diagonally (about 6 slices
per breast) and serve warm or at room
temperature. Makes 8 servings.
SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH
3 T. olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 t. minced garlic
4 pounds (about 6 large) sweet
potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
water or broth as needed
1 cup chopped walnuts or pinenuts,
Heat olive oil in a soup pot over
medium-high heat. Add the onions
and garlic and cook, stirring, until the
vegetables are softened and beginning
Add the sweet potatoes, bay leaf,
broth and wine and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20
minutes, or more, until the potatoes
are very soft. Allow the soup to cool
Ladle the soup into the pitcher of a
mixer or bowl of a food processor
and process until smooth (you will
need to do this in batches). Transfer
the soup back into the pot and season
to taste with salt and pepper. You
may need to add water or broth at
this point to thin the soup to your
Heat the soup until hot and serve in
bowls sprinkled with the chopped wal-
nuts or pinenuts. Makes 8 servings.
MAPLE PECAN BARS
This is an adapted recipe I've had for
years. I don't remember where it came
from, but it's sticky, sweet and good.
1 1/4 cups flour
5 T. sugar
1/8 t. salt
6 T. cold butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 T. orange juice
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 T. butter
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Make the crust: Pre-heat oven to
350E Spray an 8x8-inch baking pan
with non-stick cooking spray or line
with parchment paper.
Place the flour, sugar and salt in the
bowl of a food processor and pulse to
combine. Add the butter and pulse a
few more times to combine. Add the
egg yolk and juice and process until a
crumbly dough is formed.
Place the dough in the prepared pan
and press to cover the bottom and
reach partly up the sides of the pan
(you need these edges to keep the fill-
ing in place). Bake for 20-30 minutes,
until the crust is lightly golden.
Meanwhile, combine the syrup,
brown sugar, cream and butter in a
saucepan and bring to a boil over
medium-high heat. Stir in the nuts
and cook for 1 minute more, until the
nuts are well coated. Pour this mixture
into the cooked crust and bake,
uncovered, for 8-10 minutes, until
bubbly. Remove from oven and cool
completely (you may even chill).
Carefully cut into squares, bars or
diamonds. Makes 16 squares or bars. Li