By Ed Shearf
Dining al fresco is not a new concept. It conjures up memories
of sitting somewhere in the Mediterranean, fresh food, views of
the sea and weather warm enough for me to get my pasty arms and
It’s a slightly less romantic scene as you sit in your succah, wrapped
up in a blanket with the view of rainy days.
So, although we can’t control the weather, we can still celebrate
what the harvest has to offer.
Like most Jewish festivals, food plays a major part but unlike
other festivals Succot is actually about the food and the harvest
My cooking philosophy is summed up at Succot. Use ingredients
that are in season, available and waste nothing.
Here is my take on some traditional Succot dishes.
Put seeds in muslin and tie with string to seal. This may seem
a little odd but the seeds contain natural pectin that will help
the marmalade set.
Put all ingredients in a pan apart from sugar and simmer for 15
Add sugar and simmer for about an hour.
Rake out muslin cloth parcel and discard
Take off heat and spoon a little onto a plate and allow to cool.
If it is not thick enough for your liking you can put the pan back
on and reduce a little more.
Just remember it will set as it cools though.
Keep in sterilised jars.
Pour 2 tbsp vegetable oil into a frying pan on high heat, add
chopped onion and garlic until golden and soft.
Add mince and fry until brown breaking up with a wooden spoon.
(If meat starts to boil as pan is too cold, pour contents into a
colander, put pan back on a high heat and add meat back in).
Stir in tomato puree, pine nuts and season quite heavily with
salt and pepper. Place meat mix on a tray to cool down.
Lay out gyoza skins (five at a time), add a teaspoon of mix into
the middle, brush the outside with water and pick the whole thing
up using both hands.
Pinch 1 cm on the left side to seal and then overlap with the
next cm to start forming pleats. You can just forget the pleats
and fold in half to form a semi-circle.
The most important thing however you form your gyoza is to make
sure that all the air is removed otherwise they will burst when
cooking. Keep on a lightly cornfloured baking sheet until needed.
Remove the 4 outer leaves of the hispi cabbage. Remove the spine
keeping the leaves intact.
Put a frying pan on high heat, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil until
smoking and fry one side of the hispi leaves until dark brown and
starting to go burnt. Remove and leave until later. Shred the rest
of the hispi cabbage
Pour 1 tbsp vegetable oil into a frying pan on high heat, add
sliced onion until caramelised and add shredded cabbage and caraway
Once soft, squeeze in lemon juice, sugar and salt. Once liquid
has evaporated, spoon cabbage mix into burnt leaves and keep warm
in oven until needed.
Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing. Put tahini paste in a bowl
and gradually whisk in warm water until you have a thick dressing
consistency, season with salt.
Pour 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a hot pan. Place in gyoza. Once
the bottom is golden brown add 2 tbsp of water and quickly place
on lid to steam. Arrange 5 gyoza per person on a plate, then place
on stuffed cabbage leaf. Drizzle the cabbage with tahini dressing.
Drizzle the gyoza with pomegranate molasses and sprinkle over
pomegranate seeds. This dish is what we call a ‘Potchke’, but it
is well worth the fuss. Serves four.
Set oven to 180C. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and then
place in a large oven proof dish.
Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Uncover and baste and put back into the oven for 20 minutes.
Serve warm or cold for breakfast or with some ice cream for a