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Reinventing Hamantaschen with Cafe Lēza


Move over poppyseeds, apricots, and cherries, there is more than one way to enjoy a Hamantaschen. So, we asked, Elizabeth Mehditach, founder and executive chef of Lēza, to surprise us with some new takes on Hamantaschen and she delivered! Using her expertise in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods and inspired by local delis, Elizabeth created four incredible Hamataschen appetizers that will be sure to impress your guests. Enjoy these holiday recipes.

Puff Pastry Hamantaschen with Spinach & Feta


20 puff pastry squares (non-dairy, 4×4 inches each)

2 eggs

1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out of all liquid

4 stalks green onion, diced, green and white parts

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 oz feta (I prefer French)

Grated parmesan cheese to taste

1-2 teaspoons garlic powder to taste

Salt & pepper

2 heaping tablespoons of dried Ghormeh Sabzi herb seasoning (I like Sadaf brand). If it is unavailable then you can substitute with 1 teaspoon of dry dill and a teaspoon of dry mint herbs.


In a medium-sized pot, fry the onions with the oil till slightly wilted. Add spinach, salt, pepper, dried Ghormeh sabzi herbs and sauté until just beginning to caramelize. Remove the onions and set aside. Let cool. When cooled add one egg, feta and a few dashes of parmesan. Mix to combine.

To Assemble

Cut each puff pastry square in half diagonally.

Cut a triangular smaller triangular hole in half of the pieces.

Place a couple of tablespoons of the filling on the base triangle and cover with the “window” triangle.

Use a fork to press down the edges, making sure they are sealed well.

Beat the egg, add a tablespoon of water and brush over the top of the puff pastry. Sprinkle with some more Parmesan Cheese. Place the triangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 400° F for 25–30 minutes.

Yields: 20 hamantaschen

Pastry Hamantaschen with Blue Cheese, Roasted Grapes, & Honey


20 puff pastry squares (non-dairy, 4×4 inches each)

8 oz of blue cheese, (aka gorgonzola, Roquefort, stilton etc), mashed

Roasted grapes * recipe follows

2 tablespoons honey (or hot honey)

Raspberry preserves

Fresh rosemary for garnish

Roasted Grapes Recipe:

2 cups red grapes (seedless)

1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt


Pre-heat oven to 425F Toss grapes into a medium-sized baking dish with Olive Oil and Salt Bake for 15-20 minutes until grapes burst, reduce in size and shrivel. Let cool to room temperature. Set aside.

To Assemble:

Cut each puff pastry square in half diagonally.

Cut a triangular smaller triangular hole in half of the pieces.

Place a “window” triangle on top of bottom triangle. Using a fork, dock the center of the triangle with a few holes, and place the cutout triangle piece in “window.”

Bake at 400° F for 25–30 minutes.

When cooled. Remove the center triangle piece and set aside. The pastry will have puffed up around the center “window” triangle, providing a well to fill.

Fill the well with a teaspoon of cheese, top with blistered grapes, drizzle honey or a dollop of preserves and garnish with a small sprig of rosemary. Top appetizer with saved “mini” triangle as a hat.

Enjoy with Sparkling Rose or Champagne.

For some added variation, you can also use slices of pear, apple, or fresh figs instead of roasted grapes.

Yields: 20 hamantaschen

Pretzel Bagel Hamantaschen with Chive Whipped Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon & Caviar*



1 1/2 cups warm water

2 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast (1 envelope)

1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3 3/4 – 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 cup baking soda everything bagel seasoning (optional)

1 egg, beaten

8 oz package of smoked salmon

8-12 oz package of chive whipped cream cheese domestic caviar * (optional)

Thinly sliced chives for garnish (optional)


Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

To make the dough, whisk the 1 1/2 cups warm water with the yeast in a large bowl. Let it sit for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the salt, oil and sugar. Add in 3 cups of the flour, a little at a time, mixing until combined. Add 3/4 cup more flour. If the dough is still too sticky, add the last 1/4 cup.

Empty the dough onto your work surface and knead until smooth. Grease the inside of a medium bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl.

Cover with a towel and place in a warm area for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, make the baking soda bath. In a large, wide pot, combine 9 cups of water with baking soda and bring to a rolling boil.

Working with half the dough at a time, lightly flour your sur – face and roll the dough out to 1/4 inches thick. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles. Tightly pinch three corners of each circle to form a triangle. Do your best, making triangles out of dough takes practice. Be patient and have fun, they will come out delicious even if they are not perfect! Place the hamantaschen onto the prepared baking sheets.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a large slotted spatula, drop 3-4 hamantaschen into the boiling baking soda water, making sure the tops of the hamantaschen are face down in the water. Boil for exactly 10 seconds. Any longer, and the pretzels will have a stronger pretzel taste. Remove with the spatula. The hamantaschen should be face down on the spatula, allowing the water to drain out. Place them back onto the prepared baking sheets, face up. Make sure they do not touch one another.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Start checking around the 12-minute mark. Convection ovens may cook a few minutes quicker.

When cooled, using a piping bag with a star tip (or a teaspoon) pipe the whipped cream cheese in the center of the bagel bite, top with smoked salmon & a bit of caviar.

Sprinkle with sliced chives and serve with your favorite bubbly.

Yields: 40 hamantaschen

Pretzel Bagel Hamantaschen Recipe with Hot Pastrami, Mustard and Cole Slaw Torshi


Pretzel Dough

1/4 to 1/2 lb of Deli Pastrami

Cole Slaw – see recipe

Ketchup, for serving

Mustard, for serving


For pretzel dough base, follow the recipe on page 47

For the topping, gently warm pastrami in a pan over med-low heat. No need to add oil, just toss to warm through. You could add a teaspoon of water, so the meat doesn’t stick to the pan. This is just a quick heat through. Once heated put pastrami in the pretzel hamantaschen. Top with coleslaw.

Coleslaw Ingredients

2 cups coleslaw mix of red & green shredded cabbage and carrot

1 cup chopped cilantro (packed)* or use chopped Italian parsley & dill

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion or pickled red onion

1/4 – 1 full Jalapeno – sliced thin, either chiffonade or julienne (substitute pickle here if not a fan of Jalapeno)

2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Limes, Zest of 1 or 2 limes, 3-4 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Sprinkle of garlic powder

Sprinkle of black pepper

1 teaspoon somagh or sumac (to taste). Somagh is a Persian, Middle Eastern dried spice. It’s tart and sharp but also contains a hint of sweetness. Can be found in the spice section of Middle Eastern/International markets.

Coleslaw Directions

Mix all veggies in a bowl. Toss to loosely combine. Combine all spices in a small dish, add zest, lime juice and olive oil. Whisk to combine Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix. Let the coleslaw marinate for 30 minutes or so before topping the pretzel hamataschen.

Pickled Onion

Here is a quick recipe: Bring 2 cups white vinegar, 2 cups water, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of salt to a simmer in a pot over medium heat until sugar and salt are both dissolved (1 minute or so). Set aside to cool. Cut very thin slices of red onion separate into 2 or 3 16-ounce or 10-ounce mason jars.

To add a kick place 2-3 garlic cloves and whole peppercorns in the jars.

Once the pickling liquid has cooled pour it over the onions. Seal and store in the fridge. Pickled onions are done when they’re bright pink and tender. 1 hour for very thinly sliced onions or overnight for slightly thicker. Use pickled onions in this recipe or top your favorite homemade tacos or chili. Cheers.

Yields: 40 hamantaschen

Happy Purim!

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