Celebrate Sukkot With These Fall Harvest Recipes

 Stuffed cabbage for dinner -- yum!

Stuffed cabbage for dinner -- yum!

I love to cook. And Fall, with its brisk outdoor evening temperatures that make me want to cozy up inside a warm kitchen, is the perfect time to cook.

This is the time of year when I start pulling out my mother's recipes -- the ones she learned from her own mother. Recipes written on scraps of paper stuffed into old cookbooks, or passed along in an old e-mail chain forwarded from mother to daughter and sister to sister, or just pulled from memory and backed up by the occasional phone call.

One of my favorite recipes that my mother makes is my grandmother's Hungarian stuffed cabbage. The sauce is distinctively sweet and sour, with a mix of sauerkraut, lemon juice, and brown sugar. It takes several hours to make, but is well worth it. In case you'd like to try it, here it is.

And since my mother is a phenomenal cook, as a bonus, for you vegetarians, I've thrown in two other stuffed vegetable recipes that she used to make for my dad, who was a vegetarian -- stuffed patty pan squash, and stuffed sweet peppers with eggplant.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do. Happy Fall!


Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage

Ingredients

1 head green cabbage, about 2 1/2 - 3 lbs

Sauce

  • 1/2 of 32-oz jar sauerkraut, drained (reserve other half)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 32-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar (to taste), packed
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Filling

  • 1 lb ground sirloin (for vegetarian version, substitute with 16 oz chopped button mushrooms)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1-2 cups prepared sauce
  • 1/2 of 32-oz jar sauerkraut, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Steam or boil the cabbage until soft. Gently separate leaves and set aside.

To Prepare the Sauce

Prepare the sauce by sautéing onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sauerkraut, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Simmer until ready to add to cabbage rolls.

To Prepare the Filling

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add ground sirloin and cook until browned, then drain off fat.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked beef/onions/garlic, sauerkraut, rice, eggs, salt and pepper. Add 1-2 cups of prepared sauce and mix well.

Filling the Cabbage Leaves

Scoop about 1/4-1/2 cup of filling into the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll up the leaf around the filling as if rolling a burrito. 

Place the cabbage rolls in a shallow, lightly oiled baking dish, seam side down. (Actually this recipe will probably fill 2-3 rectangular baking dishes.) 

Pour sauce evenly over the cabbage rolls.

Baking

At this point, you can either refrigerate the cabbage rolls overnight and bake them the next day, or bake them in the oven right away. Bake for about 2 hours, until the sauce has thickened and the cabbage leaves are soft.

Serve and enjoy.


Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

Ingredients

  • 6 medium-large patty pan squash
  • 1 small red and 1 small white onion chopped
  • 1 small red pepper cored and chopped
  • Handful of garlic, chopped
  • Leaves and tops of celery, chopped (2 stalks)
  • 1-2 cups of fresh chopped spinach
  • Lots of basil (about 1 cup)
  • Cream cheese (1/2 - 1 cup)
  • 1-2 cups of grain of choice (rice, couscous, corn, etc)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Enough bread crumbs to bind filling
  • Grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top before baking
  • Pepper, salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes to taste (chef's choice)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the insides (save for filling). Put squash halves into a baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Cook your grain of choice. Especially good if vegetable broth is used as a liquid to replace water.

Melt butter and olive oil together - enough to coat the bottom of your pan. Sauté onion until soft but not brown. Add garlic, celery, red pepper and spinach, and cook down.

Take off of the heat and add cream cheese. Blend and add grain, egg, bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese (optional), basil, salt,  pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Fill your squash with the mixture. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and paprika, and spray with olive oil.

Bake in a preheated 400℉ oven until cooked and the top is brown (about 30 minutes).



Stuffed Sweet Peppers with Eggplant
 

Ingredients

  • 6 peppers, assorted colors (red, yellow, orange)

Filling

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 onion, garlic to taste, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 - 1 cup of soft goat cheese
  • Italian herbs -- fresh if you have them
  • 1 egg
  • Bread crumbs as needed to bind mixture
  • Salt, pepper, paprika and red pepper flakes to taste

Topping

  • 1 - 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1 - 2 cups of cheese of choice cut into chunks or slices, not grated

Roast the eggplant in the oven at about 375℉ (might take up to 1 hour) until soft. Let it cool, cut in half, peel, remove the pulp and mash up with a potato masher or chop finely.

Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Spray a baking pan with olive oil and arrange pepper halves in the pan.

Saute onion, garlic and red pepper until soft. Add tomato and eggplant. Cook until soft and creamy. Add goat cheese and seasoning.

Take off of the heat and add beaten egg and bread crumbs until the mixture feels stiff. Fill peppers. Top with tomato sauce, chopped basil and cheese.

Make a foil tent, cover but don't let it touch the peppers and bake at 375℉ for 20 - 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until done, about 15 minutes or until soft but not overdone.

ENJOY!!!