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Keret Pie

The Arabic word for "leek" sounds like the Hebrew כרת karet (to make a covenant, or to cut off), so this pie is suitable for celebrating a bris or a marriage -- or for serving to a rebellious son, who may be cut off but will be left with a delicious taste of the tradition (leeks are חציר chatzir, not חזיר chazir (pig)).

This works as a pie, pastry, blintz or boreka, but the crust is unnecessary -- it can be served as a casserole on its own.

For Passover, omit the crust and, if you like, add a little garlic, as it is written: "We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic." (Numbers 11:15)

Ingredients

  • 4 large or 8 small leeks
  • one onion
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup soft white cheese (ricotta or labna or Israeli 2%, farmer or even small curd cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 cup grated hard cheese--any strong tasting cheese will work: sharp cheddar or feta or gouda or even blue cheese.
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • Optional: 1 Tbs fresh herb--dill, coriander or parsley
  • Optional: 1/8 tsp cardamom (not if you are using blue cheese)
  • Optional: 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • Optional: pie or borekas crust or fillo shells or crepes.

Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Discard hairy end of leeks and dark green parts. Wash white and light green parts very carefully (there is often sand between the layers), and slice into thin rounds.
  • Chop onion finely.
  • Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large frying pan and saute onions and garlic until tender and browned.
  • Beat the eggs and mix with the cheeses, herb and spices. If the cheese is not salty, add a little salt.
  • Mix the onions & leeks into the the cheese mixture.
  • Pour the whole thing into an oiled glass pie pan, or into your pie crust or other pastry shell.
  • Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. When it is ready, it will be brown on top and a knife inserted in the middle will come out clean.
  • Variations:

    Spinach Pie: Substitute spinach for leeks. Saute the onions first. Meanwhile, wash one pound of spinach and cook it in a covered pot until it wilts. When the spinach has shrunk down to a little lump, saute it with the onions, and, perhaps one clove of garlic. Follow the rest of the recipe, but use nutmeg instead of cardamom, add some black pepper, and if you feel the need for the fresh herbs, use dill.

    Eggplant Pie: Grill eggplant until blackened. Scrape out insides, press to remove liquid, and mash. Mix in sauteed (or raw) onions, cheese stuff (use about half as much cheese for this one, or just omit the white cheese and omit the herbs and spices), add some black pepper, and bake as directed.


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