Jump on Israel’s Latest Purim Trend With These Savory Hamantaschen Recipes

Hamantaschen filled with eggplant, cheeses and herbs make a wonderful Purim appetizer.

Savory hamantaschen with eggplant and cheese.
Savory hamantaschen with eggplant and cheese. Vered Guttman

Purim is all about the sweets. After all, what could be better than celebrating the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient times by eating sweet pastries and sending some to your friends? But if your sweet tooth needs a rest after trying all the new and exciting hamantaschen fillings, here’s a way to keep the spirit of the holiday while offering your palate another flavor. These savory hamantaschen still have the traditional triangle shape, supposedly representing Haman’s hat, but can be served as an appetizer instead of a dessert. 

Eggplant and feta hamantaschen

Yields about 30 hamantaschen

Ingredients

1 regular eggplant

Kosher salt

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 oz. crumbled feta

1 quantity hamantaschen dough (see below)

1 egg, lightly beaten

 

For the toppings (optional):

1/2 cup labneh or strained Greek yogurt

!/4 cup chopped pistachio

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

 

Directions

Peel eggplant, dice into 1/2 inch cubes, put into a large colander over a bowl and liberally sprinkle each layer with kosher salt. Let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours. Rinse and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add eggplant and 1/2 cup water, cover, reduce heat and continue to cook until very tender, about 8 minutes. Remove lid, and cook until liquid evaporates.

Transfer eggplant to a bowl, mix in feta and set aside until it cools.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Have a 3-inch cookie cutter at hand.

Liberally dust the working surface with flour. Roll out the first half-portion of dough on the floured surface as thin as possible (about 1/16” thick). Dip the cookie cutter into flour and cut out circles of dough. Re-roll the dough as needed.

Use a teaspoon to mound a small amount of the filling into the center of each circle. Lift and pinch the edges of each circle in 3 places spaced evenly apart, to create a triangle; the filling will be partially exposed in the center. Arrange on the baking sheet, spacing them an inch apart. Brush hamantaschen with beaten egg, which will give it a nice color and prevent hamantaschen from opening up during baking.

Bake one sheet at a time for 20-22 minutes or until the pastries are just turning light golden on the edges.

Transfer the pastries to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. To decorate before serving, top each hamantaschen with a small dollop of labneh, sprinkle with pistachio and thyme, and serve.

Keep undecorated hamantaschen in a sealed container in the fridge up to a week. Reheat at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Savory hamantaschen with eggplant and cheese.
Vered Guttman

Cheese and rosemary hamantaschen

Kashkaval is a mild, hard cheese from the Balkans and is available at some Eastern European and Middle Eastern stores.

Yields about 30 hamantaschen

Ingredients

3 oz. (85 grams) grated kashkaval, pecorino or parmesan cheese

6 oz. (170 grams) crumbled feta

6 oz. (170 grams) hand-dipped ricotta

1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

1 quantity hamantaschen dough (see below)

1 egg, lightly beaten

 

For the toppings (optional):

1/4 cup olive tapenade

1 tomato, chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

Pinch kosher salt

 

Directions

In a medium bowl mix kashkaval, feta, ricotta and rosemary.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Have a 3-inch cookie cutter at hand.

Liberally dust the working surface with flour. Roll out the first half-portion of dough on the floured surface as thin as possible (about 1/16” thick). Dip the cookie cutter into flour and cut out circles of dough. Re-roll the dough as needed.

Use a teaspoon to mound a small amount of the filling in the center of each circle. Lift and pinch the edges of each circle in three places spaced evenly apart, to create a triangle; the filling will be partially exposed in the center. Arrange on the baking sheet, spacing them an inch apart. Brush hamantaschen with beaten egg, which will give it a nice color and prevent hamantaschen from opening up during baking.

Bake one sheet at a time for 20-22 minutes or until the pastries are just turning light-golden on the edges.

Transfer the pastries to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. To decorate before serving, top half the hamantaschen with a small dollop of tapenade, and the other half with a mix of tomatoes, olive oil and salt.
Keep undecorated hamantaschen in a sealed container in the fridge up to a week. Reheat at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes before serving.

Savory hamantaschen dough

Yields about 30 hamantaschen

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch nutmeg

12 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold butter

1 egg

6 tablespoons cold water

 

Directions

1. Combine the flour, salt and nutmeg in a bowl of a food processor.

2. Cut cold butter into the bowl.

3. Pulse to create crumbs.

4. Add the egg and pulse just until crumbs are formed. Add cold water and mix to create dough.

5. Divide the dough in two; gather into 2 disks and wrap in plastic wrap.

6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to a day.