Savory Sukkah Spreads

By Eileen Goltz
When we say the words “High Holidays,” one of the first thing we think of (besides teshuvah and what to wear to the services) is what are we going to serve for all those meals. We get caught up in the initial rush of preparing meals for Rosh Hashanah and for before and after Yom Kippur that when it comes time to figure out what we want to serve for Sukkot, we’re out of ideas (and energy).
It’s always such a dilemma. What can you serve that stays hot while
it’s being transported from the kitchen as the wind blows at gale force and you’re getting the first monsoon of the season? I finally came up with a plan that really works and makes meals in the sukkah a lot easier.
Tip: as long as you can keep the main dish hot (wrapping it in lots of hot pads and a towel) you can compromise and serve side dishes that are room temperature or even cold. Finding recipes for side dishes that are just as tasty at room temperature as when warm was a challenge. There were, however, unexpected dividends to this quest, because now I have a slew of recipes that I can prepare ahead of time for Shabbat and serve all day long.
The following recipes have all received rave reviews. (I’ve even included a dairy dessert that is great for Chol Hamoed.) The only problem: they’re so good that there won’t be enough left over for Simchat Torah.

Apple Cole Slaw
4 c. shredded cabbage
3 Washington or Granny Smith apples, shredded coarsely
2 kiwifruit, pared and chopped coarsely
2 green onions, diagonally sliced
salad greens
1 or 2 apples

In a large bowl combine the cabbage, the 3 shredded apples, kiwifruit and
green onions. Toss with Honey Lime Dressing (see recipe below). Line salad plate with lettuce. Core and slice remaining apples; arrange on lettuce. Spoon salad over apples. Serves 4 to 6.

Honey Lime Dressing
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. lime juice
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Combine the honey, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well
and pour over salad. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Cinnamon Tortillas
4 flour tortillas, 7″ size
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. sugar (or to taste)

Cut tortillas into bite-size triangles. Stir melted butter, cinnamon and sugar until blended. Brush or toss tortillas with cinnamon/butter/sugar mixture. Place tortillas on baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 350 until lightly browned and crisp. Cool and serve. Serve with Strawberry Salsa. Serves 4.

Strawberry Salsa (to be served with Cinnamon Tortillas)
2 c. strawberries, chopped or diced
2 T. honey
1 T. fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/8 t. cinnamon
1 T. lime juice

Wash berries and remove tops. Chop the strawberries into small pieces and place them in a glass bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well, but gently. Chill the berry mixture for at least an hour before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Fresh Corn and Tomatoes with Rigatoni
1 1/2 T. red-wine vinegar
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. cooked corn kernels (cut from 1 ear of corn)
1 lb. fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 c. thinly sliced scallion
1/2 lb. rigatoni
freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add the corn, tomatoes and scallion, mixing to combine. Set the mixture aside. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente, and drain well. Transfer the pasta to the bowl with the dressing and toss the mixture well. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Note: this can be refrigerated, but don’t add the tomatoes until just before serving. You can sprinkle the finished dish with grated Parmesan cheese if a dairy meal is preferred. Serves 4.

Cauliflower Kugel
1 whole cauliflower cut into small pieces
3 T. margarine
3 T. flour
1/2 c. non-dairy creamer
1/2 c. water
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 T. dry onion soup mix
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. breadcrumbs

Steam the cauliflower until just done (still slightly crispy). Drain well and place the cauliflower in a large bowl. Set aside. Melt the margarine in a saucepan and add the flour, creamer and water. Stir constantly over a medium heat for 10 minutes until flour is dissolved. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Add the beaten eggs, mayonnaise and onion soup mix. Mix well. Pour the mixture into greased 9”X13” baking pan. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and serve immediately or cool to room temperature before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

Almond-Filled Peaches
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. slivered almonds
2/3 c. coarsely crushed amaretti (almond) cookies
3 egg yolks
6 large ripe peaches, sliced in half and pitted
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. water
2 T. butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine 1/2 cup sugar, almonds, crushed cookies and egg yolks; set aside. Brush melted butter or margarine on the bottom and sides of a 9”x13” baking dish, or spray it with a non-stick vegetable spray, and place the peach halves into the dish. Evenly spoon nut mixture onto peach halves; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine wine, water and 1/2 cup sugar; heat until sugar dissolves. Lightly spoon 1 t. sugar syrup over each peach half; pour remaining liquid around peaches. Dot with butter and bake 40 minutes, basting occasionally. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 12.

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf (dairy)
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. maple extract
3 egg whites, lightly whisked together
1 c. mashed sweet pumpkin (or sweet potato)
1 3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. mace
a pinch of cloves
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. frozen or fresh cranberries – coarsely chopped
1/2 c. buttermilk
Garnish: 1/4 c. chopped pecans additional cranberries

Two 3”x7” foil baking pans, one 5”x9” loaf pan, a springform pan, or a specialty 2 quart bunt pan.

Preheat oven to 350 and spray pan(s) with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and maple extracts. Stir in egg whites. Mix dry ingredients together and fold into batter. Fold in cranberries. Spoon into prepared pan(s). Garnish top with sprinkling of pecans and place some additional cranberries on top. Bake until cake tests done — about 40 to 50 minutes. Serves 12.

© Eileen Goltz 1998

This article was featured in the Fall 1999 issue of Jewish Action.
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