Succot, the Jewish autumn harvest festival, is surely party to some of the oddest practices in the Jewish calendar. If we aren’t parading round shul waving citrus fruits and bunches of foliage, we’re eating dinner in a draughty hut in the garden. To the untrained eye, we must look properly bizarre.
And yet, despite its oddness, Succot is definitely one of my favourite festivals. Eating in the succah is a last chance to have our meals outside, even though summer and its al fresco ways are really behind us. The kitschy decorations and fairy lights in the succah give every meal a party feel. And as we celebrate the autumn’s harvest, we get to tuck into some of the most delicious dishes in the Jewish cook’s repertoire.
In particular stuffed vegetables, symbolising an abundant and plentiful harvest, are a star attraction. Growing up in an ashkenazi household, we always had holishkes – stuffed cabbage rolls – but Jews from other backgrounds prepare stuffed peppers, tomatoes, vine leaves, and even stuffed potatoes. In recent years, sushi rolls have also become traditional Succot fare.
So, to help inspire my (and your!) Succot menus, I’ve tracked down some of my fellow bloggers’ greatest stuffed vegetable recipes (plus a few of my own!), and here they are…
One of Kipper’s favourites – cheesy bulgar wheat and pesto stuffed aubergines.
Gemista – Greek stuffed tomatoes (or peppers!) filled with rice and pistachios, from Lovely Appetite.
Or cider and barley stuffed tomatoes from The Veg Space.
Deliciously vegan pinto bean stuffed peppers, from Planet Veggie.
This lentil stuffed festive butternut roast looks beautiful! From The Veg Space.
My bulgar stuffed courgettes (zucchini) often appear at this time of year.
Feeling Scottish? Vegan haggis stuffed mushrooms from Planet Veggie.
Yum! Baked onions with hazelnut, sultana and feta stuffing from The Veg Space.
There’s also my tomato & mozzarella stuffed mushrooms and hassleback stuffed aubergines, of course. And if that’s not enough, I have a whole Pinterest board filled with stuffed food for Succot! Be sure to follow for more seasonal treats and ideas.
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Chag Succot Sameach!