Stuff your sukkah guests with these stuffed Sukkot appetizers. (Photo/Micah Siva)
Stuff your sukkah guests with these stuffed Sukkot appetizers. (Photo/Micah Siva)

Stuff your sukkah guests with these Sukkot appetizers

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During Sukkot, we are instructed to construct a three-walled, open-roof sukkah (or hut) to remind us of the time the Israelites spent in the wilderness after they were freed from slavery in Egypt. In modern times, it’s a place to gather with friends, family and community members and enjoy autumnal, seasonal produce under the thatched roof of a sukkah.

No Jewish holiday is complete without a menu based on tradition. With the coming and going of visitors, serving a full sit-down meal in the sukkah may not be practical — which is why I’m sharing three simple recipes for Sukkot appetizers.

Stuffed foods (especially vegetables) are a common dish for Sukkot, which may be why Bubbe’s cabbage rolls always seem to make an appearance around this time of year. But some people interpret stuffed foods as being parallel to the concept of “stuffing” your sukkah with people you love and wish to welcome.

Other interpretations are far more literal, where the stuffing of vegetables is a way to celebrate the harvest and show gratitude for the crops. Whichever interpretation you choose, it’s a great way to have a little fun in the kitchen.

The first recipe is made with filo, a thin, Greek pastry that makes flaky, crunchy layers when baked. Wrapped around a sweet and savory filling, it’s the perfect party appetizer.

In the second recipe, endive, scoop-shaped leaves can be vessels for anything from cheese to hummus.

For the third recipe, enjoy your favorite bagel with these one-bite stuffed peppers. Mini peppers are the perfect vehicle for your favorite toppings and fillings. They are bright, fresh and, most important, good for sharing.

Filo Za’atar Honey and Cheese Triangles

Makes 16 to 18

  • Butter for greasing
  • 1½ cups farmers cheese or ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 Tbs. za’atar
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-lb. package filo dough, thawed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with butter. In a medium bowl, combine farmers cheese, feta, za’atar, honey and egg. Mash with a fork. Set aside.

Remove filo dough from plastic sheet; be careful, it’s fragile! Using scissors, cut the sheets in half, making approximately two dozen 9-by-12-inch sheets.

For the next step, keep in mind that it’s likely a sheet or two of filo will get ripped in the process of folding. As you fold each piece, cover the remaining filo with a damp paper towel to prevent drying out.

Place a half sheet in front of you vertically.  Brush with melted butter. Add 1 Tbs. of mashed filling in the center of the sheet, about ½ inch from the bottom. Fold the left third over the filling, repeat with the right side. Brush with more butter. Fold bottom corner up over the filling to create a triangle. Fold bottom edge up again to create a triangle pointing to the other side. Keep folding the triangle to the opposite side until you reach the end of the filo sheet. Place on greased sheet, and repeat with remaining sheets and filling. Brush triangles with remaining butter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until flaky. Let cool before serving. Enjoy.

Date and Goat Cheese Stuffed Endive Boats

Serves 8 to 10

  • 1 head endive, end trimmed and leaves separated
  • ½ cup soft goat cheese, chevre
  • ¼ cup chopped dates
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil

Arrange endive leaves on a platter. Add 2 to 3 tsp. goat cheese to each leaf. Top with chopped dates; sprinkle with sesame seeds, salt and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bagel and Lox Stuffed Mini Peppers

Serves 8 to 10

  • 1 lb. mini bell peppers
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs. chives, chopped
  • ¼ cup smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. capers
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash and dry the mini peppers. Halve them vertically and remove the seeds. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, chives and smoked salmon until well combined. Add cream cheese mixture to each pepper half. Top with chopped dill and capers, and salt and pepper.

Micah Siva
Micah Siva

Micah Siva is a registered dietitian and trained chef in San Francisco. She develops modern Jewish recipes inspired by her grandmother, with a plant-forward twist. See her recipes and photography at Nosh with Micah.