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Last week, we discussed the holiday of Shavu’ot—a holiday, not so coincidentally, that is going on right now. The agricultural festival’s origins commemorate when fruits were first harvested and brought to the Temple, as well as the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. The time between Passover and Shavu’ot is supposed to be one of anticipation and the gathering of excitement, but the holiday seems to be less and less represented in contemporary Jewish culture. Strangely, it is the least recorded practiced annual holiday according to the Jewish Theological Seminary, puzzling the very devout. However, Rabbi Ismar Schorsch thinks he may have the answer as to why Shavu’ot has declined in popularity over the years:
Shavuot is ritually bereft. Unlike Pesach or Sukkot, it lacks a set of distinctive practices that would convey experientially its meaning and message. There is nothing comparable to the seder or Sukkah for Shavuot, no absorbing home ritual that might unite family and friends in preparation and observance.
However, practices have been developed over the years to give Shavu’ot its rightful place in holiday history, including Tikkun Leil Shavuot, where one stays awake in their study all night and concludes at sunrise with a communal prayer. Many retain that these practices keep the holiday relevant and consistent.
And now, to the food! Here’s another Shavu’ot recipe to fill you right up—the Zucchini Crowned Quiche- from Joy of Kosher! Eat up, listeners, and happy Shavu’ot!
Zucchini Crowned Quiche
* Prep Time : 30 min
* Cook Time : 45 min
* Ready Time : 1 hour, 15 min
* 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
* 3 scallions, white and light-green parts only, finely chopped
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 8 slices Italian bread, cubed and lightly toasted
* 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
* 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
* 4 eggs
* 3 1/2 ounces ricotta cheese
* 1⁄3 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* Pinch of salt
* Flour, for dusting
* 1 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed
* 4 ounces baby gouda cheese, cubed
* 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
* 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Vegetable and cheese filling: In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add scallions and sauté until slightly soft, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add bread cubes. Saute for about 10 minutes and set aside. In a separate skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add zucchini and thyme, season with salt and pepper and saute for 7 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, ricotta cheese, heavy cream, nutmeg and salt. Add scallions and bread cubes, and mix well.
Prepare dough: Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to a 1⁄10-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch round springform pan, and press with your fingers to line the pan with the dough. Fold overhanging dough back over itself and press firmly, creating a thicker layer on the sides. Trim any excess dough. Spread ricotta mixture and top with cubed cheese. Arrange zucchini in a layer over mixture, and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, remove pan from the oven. Carefully remove the ring from around the springform, without breaking the crust. Place pan back in the oven and continue to bake for another 10-15 or until golden brown.