Tag: sukkot

Sous-Vide Stuffed Eggplant
with Pistachio Dukkah & Tamarind Tahini

So I’m sitting on board a Jetblue flight en route to Florida, noshing on my Terra Blues, drinking a diet coke, and working on my blog post via (free!) Fly-Fi. We were lucky enough to score an empty seat, so my very active 23-month old (who’s on the last free flight of his life) is all buckled in and on his way to a white-noise nap. You gotta love Jetblue!

I really wanted to get in this last post before Sukkot because I started a trend a couple of years back where I post a STUFFED recipe in honor of Sukkot and the harvest festival. Traditionally, holipches/holishkes (stuffed cabbage) is served up on Sukkot because we want to celebrate the abundance of the harvest season. Fall is when farmers harvest their wheat in Israel, and stuffing vegetables with filling symbolizes their desire for a year of overflowing harvest. Any stuffed recipe is well suited to honor this custom, including my “ratatouille” mechshie, savory eggplant mechshie, globe zucchini mechshie and of course, stuffed cabbage!

This year, I really wanted to take it up a notch, and since stuffing eggplant is one of my favorite things, I decided to give stuffed sous vide eggplant a try. I recently met a talented chef who was touting the benefits of sous-vide vegetables, and when he told me that sous-vide eggplant is literally soft as butter, I just had to give it a try! I had just got my new Sous Vide Supreme and what better way to use it than to test this technique!

Truth be told, my first try at sous-vide eggplant was an #epicfail. The eggplant was tough and not altogether cooked and after some research, I learned that since veggies tend to float in the water bath, you need to weigh them down to ensure proper cooking. My second try was successful and the results were soft-as-butter-delicious!

Now if you’re going to sous-vide eggplant, you have to have a sophisticated stuffing to match the modernist cooking technique. Roasted eggplants stuffed with Israeli salad is a regular in my house, as well as my
roasted eggplant parmesan, but as delicious as those recipes are, they are still homey comfort foods that wouldn’t do justice to my sous vide eggplant. I really wanted the eggplant to be the star, so I wanted to accessorize it, but not fully outfit it, to borrow some fashion terms :)

If we’re talking food fashion, there’s nothing more fashionable than nut and seed blends right now, so pistachio dukkah was just the thing! I recently did a #myspicerack spice roundup on my Instagram feed, and when I posted about the pistachio dukkah that my sister sends me all the way from Aussie, I got lots of recipe requests! I decided to make my own version from scratch with fresh cumin and coriander seeds from Holon, my favorite Middle Eastern market in Brooklyn. The results were incomparable to the blend my sister had been sending me. It was just so amazingly fresh, crunchy and and nutty, I don’t know why it took me so long to make my own! And you don’t even need a fancy spice grinder, a simple food processor works just fine!

Now that my pistachio dukkah was done, I needed a creamy sauce to bring it all together, but just plain old tahini wouldn’t do the trick. After visiting the amazing tahini store in Shuk Machneh Yehudah in Jersualem, I knew that you could mix so many things into tahini – both savory and sweet, so I decided to go with tamarind. Tamarind paste is both sweet and sour, so it’s a great balance to the salty dukkah spice and sweet pomegranate seeds. Top it off with some chopped parsley and you’ve got it all – color, texture, and balance, just the way food should be. Happy Stuffing!



This post was sponsored by Sous Vide Supreme. All opinions are my own. 

Other Eggplant Recipes:

Roasted eggplants stuffed with Israeli salad
roasted eggplant parmesan
roasted eggplant parmesan with feta
za’atar eggplant chips with harissa whipped feta
miso-glazed eggplant

Other Stuffed Recipes:

“ratatouille” mechshie
savory eggplant mechshie
globe zucchini mechshie
stuffed cabbage!

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Zucchini Mechshie with Tamarind & Prunes

I’ve talked a lot about mechshie (a Syrian dish of stuffed vegetables) on my blog, especially around the holidays. I decided to keep up the tradition, and for the third year in a row, I’m sharing a stuffed vegetable recipe in honor of Sukkot. The tradition of eating stuffed foods on Succot is symbolic of an abundant harvest season. Since the wheat is harvested in Israel during the fall, we stuff foods to symbolize our desire for an overflowing harvest. This is popularly done with stuffed cabbage, or holipches, which some say are also made to resemble the scrolls of a Torah.


Ever since I married into a Sephardic family, I can’t get enough of my mother-in-laws delicious mechshie dishes! I’m slowly learning to cook different variations, adapting my favorite recipe with the additions of tamarind, pomegranate molasses and different types of vegetables and dried fruit.

When I spotted beautiful globe zucchini in the market, I just knew I had to turn it into some kind of mechshie. The small, round zucchini were perfect for filling, and I decided to work in some tamarind paste, an ingredient essential to Sephardic cooking. It adds a hint of sourness to the sweet dish, a perfect pairing with the plump dried prunes.

So let’s get stuffin’!

More Mechshie Recipes:

stuffed baby eggplant mechshie
zucchini and tomato mechshie “ratatouille”

More “Stuffed” Recipes:

corned beef arancini
Passover stuffed cabbage (replace potatoes with rice)
collard stuffed sweet potatoes
sausage and apple stuffed butternut squash
spinach stuffed mushrooms
stuffed chicken roulade
Israeli stuffed eggplants

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Meat & Rice Stuffed Baby Eggplants

As we approach the last days of the holiday of Sukkot, I wanted to share a nontraditional “stuffed” recipe, for those looking for a change from traditional holipches/holishkes (stuffed cabbage). If you’ve always wondered why Hungarian style stuffed cabbage is served up on Sukkot, it’s because we want to celebrate the abundance of the harvest season. Fall is when farmers harvest their wheat in Israel, and stuffing vegetables with filling symbolizes their desire for a year of overflowing harvest. Although it is customary for many to eat stuffed cabbage, any stuffed recipe is well suited to honor this custom. You can stuff grape leaves, zucchini, peppers, or even fruit for dessert!

As I mentioned in this post, I was first introduced to the idea of mechshie when I married into a sephardic family. My mother in law taught me to prepare various dishes of meat & rice filled vegetables – each with it’s own unique flavor. Having grown up with these traditional Syrian dishes, my husband loves when I surprise him by making them. Although my twist on tomato & zucchini mechshie (which I’ve dubbed “mechshie ratatouille”) is my all time favorite, this lighter stuffed eggplant version is a close second.

If you want to go the traditional route, but you’re overwhelmed by the idea of making stuffed cabbage, try my Bubby’s cabbage soup with flanken. It tastes just like stuffed cabbage, without all the work! You can even leave out the flanken and make mini meat & rice balls instead.

Related Recipes:

zucchini and tomato mechshie “ratatouille”
globe zucchini mechshie with tamarind and prunes

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{Mechshie} Meat & Rice Stuffed Vegetables

Growing up in an ashkenazic home, it just wasn’t succos without my mother’s holishkes (stuffed cabbage). I had never even heard of sephardic dishes like stuffed grape leaves or eggplants until I married into a sephardic family. My mother in law loves to prepare authentic Syrian dishes like mehshie (pronounced mechshie). She stuffs everything from artichokes to onions, each with it’s own unique twist.

After being married for a few years, I finally decided to learn how to prepare some of her signature dishes, so I could make them for my husband. She lovingly shared her family recipes, teaching me how to prepare each and every dish. When two of the recipes seemed similar, I asked her why I couldn’t combine them. I soon learned that the mere thought of combining two types of stuffed vegetables was deemed sacrilegious!

Of all my mother-in-laws mehshi recipes, stuffed zucchini’s is my favorite. It’s simmered along with dried apricots in a sweet tomato broth. The apricots become melt-in-your-mouth soft, and together with the zucchini pulp, create a delicious sweet and tangy sauce. Tomato mehshi is treated in the same way, and being my husband’s favorite, I decided to combine the two in one pot. I also opted out of the dried mint, because in my world, mint and meat just don’t mix. Although this dish is a heresy to my mother-in-laws traditional culinary roots, it is a delicious modern twist on a old world custom of eating stuffed foods on the holiday of Succos. So lets get stuffing!

Watch me make mechshie with TorahCafe here:


Watch on TorahCafé.com!

Related Recipes:

globe zucchini mechshie with tamarind and prunes
savory baby eggplant mechshie

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