Enjoy the Siman of Leeks and Spinach in One Recipe

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Jamie Geller
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Spicy Sauted Leeks and Spinach

Let’s not go completely nuts with sweeter-than-sweet foods on Rosh Hashanah. While we customarily don’t eat foods that are downright tart or bitter at this time of the year, I still feel the need to break the sweet symphony.  Leeks and spinach will do just that. Eating the siman of leeks symbolizes our heartfelt prayer that the Almighty will decimate our nation’s enemies (and I can think of a few.)  So here’s to my Spicy Sautéed Leeks and Spinach side dish.

The downside of both these veggies is the bugs. Bugs aren’t kosher. So you have to be very careful when it comes to checking them properly for infestation. (The OU published a guide entitled, “The OU Guide to Checking Fruits, Vegetables and Berries.” The book may be obtained on the OU Press website, www.ou.org/oupress/category/1676, or by contacting the OU Kosher Consumer Hotline at 212- 613-8241.)  Also, as fabulous as leeks are, they’re pretty gritty when you bring them home from the store. Give ’em, a good soak and rinse.

I’m lucky because my local kosher supermarket carries bags of insect-free baby spinach. If you don’t have that option and you lack the zitsfleish (as my grandmother would say, meaning patience) to check your baby spinach leaves, I have a twist on this recipe for you. Follow the instructions, sautéing and softening the leeks for about 25 minutes in olive oil.  Then add garlic and red pepper flakes.  Add wine and a bag of defrosted checked spinach (I use the Bodek brand - just make sure it’s been completely thawed and squeezed dry) and mix until just combined.  Place this filling in a prepared sheet of defrosted puff pastry dough and roll it up like a deli- or jelly-roll. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then bake it uncovered at 350° for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until slightly browned and flaking. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

A few more spinach and/or leek recipes for you.

Spinach Mushroom Kugel

Wilted Spinach with Crispy Garlic

Pareve Potato Leek Quiche

Leek & Mushroom Chicken with Spaghetti Squash