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Serve Italian-inspired delicacies to your guests during Succot

Leek polpetta with basil aioli (photo credit: BOAZ LAVI)
Leek polpetta with basil aioli
(photo credit: BOAZ LAVI)
Succot is a time for entertaining family and friends in a more casual way than the other holidays. Dishes that can be shared are the perfect offerings when one is not quite sure who is coming for dinner.
We asked chef Nir Wayman of the Mel & Michelle trattoria to recommend Ital - ian dishes that would be suitable for the succa, and he had many suggestions. We selected a sweet fruit cake that can keep for months; boikos, a kind of burekas with sharp cheese that will accompany a glass of wine or beer very nicely; and a few other popular antipasti dishes.
Mel & Michelle is a small, intimate res - taurant run by Wayman. The chef infuses personal and artistic touches into his classic Italian cuisine. Handmade gnocchi, fresh pasta and local produce from the various markets are the basis of the seasonal menu, which also incorporates truffle oils, Roman artichokes and spices from around the globe.
✔ 2 zucchini, sliced diagonally
✔ 2 eggplants, sliced
✔ 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
✔ 2 red peppers, seeds removed, cut into 4
✔ 1 head of cauliflower, florets only
✔ Head of garlic, cut in half
✔ ¼ cup olive oil
✔ 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
✔ 1 sprig rosemary
✔ Coarse salt
✔ Black pepper Heat oven to 200°.
Mix all the vegetables in a bowl with the oil, vinegar and seasonings. Make sure that all the vegetables are coated with oil.
Transfer the vegetables to 1 or 2 lined bak - ing sheets and bake for 25 minutes.
BOIKOS Makes 20 Boikos are small savory cheese buns that are very popular in the Balkans. There are many different versions and all are delicious. They are great to pull out when friends drop in.
✔ 200 gr. butter, softened
✔ 1 cup (container) yogurt
✔ 3 cups self-raising flour
✔ 1 egg yolk
✔ 200 gr. Parmesan cheese, grated
✔ 1 tsp. salt
✔ 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
✔ Some olive oil
✔ 200 gr. Gorgonzola cheese Mix all the ingredients, except the oil, the sesame seeds and the Gorgonzola, in a large bowl or in the food processor until a dough is formed.
Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200°.
Using your hands, roll 20 small balls from the dough.
Cut the Gorgonzola into small cubes and insert one cube in each ball, closing the dough around the cheese. Brush the balls with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the boikos are golden in color.
✔ 5 endives, halved
✔ 200 gr. butter
✔ ½ cup sugar