Yeasted pumpkin bread, as featured in The Jewish Cookbook
Yeasted pumpkin bread, as featured in The Jewish Cookbook

A Jew-ish guide to Jewish food: Sukkot

You don’t need to feast outside in order to enjoy the dishes served at this Jewish harvest festival

This week is Sukkot, the Jewish celebration, which is sometimes likened to a harvest festival or Thanksgiving.Like those two traditions, Sukkot marks the end of the agricultural year, but Sukkot is a little different too, as it also commemorates the Jewish Exodus from Egypt.

Commonly translated as Festival of Tabernacles and known also as the Festival of Ingathering, Sukkot participants build temporary, outdoor booths or sukkahs to feast within, which are supposed to signify both the shelters agriultural workers would have slept in while bringing in the harvest, and the refuges the Jews built during their flight from Egypt.

Of course, you don’t have to get to work in your back yard just yet, to enjoy some of the dishes cooked and eaten at this time of year. Leah Koenig, author of The Jewish Cookbook runs us through a few of her tastiest Sukkot favourites.

Yeasted pumpkin bread “This Sephardi bread tastes like a cross between challah and pumpkin bread. Since Sukkot comes in the fall, it seems fitting to serve a bread filled with pumpkin – and the loaves’ orange color is gorgeously seasonal.”

Hot beet borscht “Since most dining on Sukkot happens outside, a warming bowl of soup feels just right. I’m personally a huge fan of hot beet borscht – I like cold borscht too, but for me the hot stuff wins by a mile! And the seasonal veggies – beets, cabbage, and carrots – make this borscht a great fit.”

 

Stuffed onions
Stuffed onions

Stuffed onions “There is a tradition of eating stuffed foods on Sukkot to commemorate the holiday’s themes of harvest and abundance. I particularly love this Syrian beef and rice stuff onion recipe, which has a gorgeous sweet and sour tang thanks to the addition to tamarind in the sauce.”

 

The Jewish Cookbook
The Jewish Cookbook

To find out how to make these dishes and many more order a copy of The Jewish Cookbook here. It's an inspiring celebration of the diversity and breadth of this venerable culinary tradition. A true fusion cuisine, Jewish food evolves constantly to reflect the changing geographies and ingredients of its cooks.

Featuring more than 400 home-cooking recipes for everyday and holiday foods from the Middle East to the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa - as well as contemporary interpretations by renowned chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi, Michael Solomonov, and Alex Raij - this definitive compendium of Jewish cuisine introduces readers to recipes and culinary traditions from Jewish communities the world over, and is perfect for anyone looking to add international tastes to their table.