The New Year is very full of symbolic foods that we serve and while partaking of each one we recite special supplications asking God to grant us a good year. Many items are on the menu for Rosh Hashanah, amongst them black eye peas, pomegranates, dates carrots, leeks. Here are some recipes that feature the symbolic foods we eat on this occasion.
Beet and Pomegranate Salad
Beets and pomegranates are in season at this time of year, they are both powerhouses of health. Full of vitamin C and other nutrients.
This salad hardly needs any sugar since the sweet taste of pomegranate greatly enhances the flavor of the beets. This is a great combination of two of the Simanim. It also gives color to any dish and is a great side offering.
- 2 cup fresh beets (about 2 large or 5 small)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup lemon
- 1 tsp honey
Cook beets in a heavy pot covered with water for about 1 hour. Add salt. When tender allow to cool and cut into cubes. Add pomegranate seeds and honey to taste.
Preparation 15 minutes
Creamy Carrot Soup with Fresh Ginger
- 2 pounds freshcarrots, peeled
- 1 medium onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 3 leeks, sliced in half lengthwise and thoroughly cleaned
- 4 stalkscelery
- 4 Tbs oil
- 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 10 cupschicken, orvegetable stock or water
In a large pot sauté onions and garlic in 2 Tbs oil until translucent. Add vegetables cut in large pieces along with ginger and nutmeg, if using. Sauté for approximately 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add remainingoil as needed, add salt and pepper to taste. Add liquid of choice allow a quick boil then reduce heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature and then puree in a blender or with a blender stick. Soup should be thick and smooth.
To serve, reheat, ladle into bowls, garnish with carrot shaving and/or green onions and your favorite croutons, or homemade pita chips. This soup is very festive perfect for this occasion
Preparation 20 minutes + cooking time
Tzimmes is a traditional dish served in many families every Shabbos. On Rosh Hashanah it takes center stage because it features carrots sautéed in a sweet sauce and it is allows us to recite the proper blessing symbolic to bring in a sweet New Year. Our family likes to vary the recipe and just grate a few raw carrots adding some raisins and orange juice. Enjoy whichever version you prefer.
- 4 carrots cut in slices
- 2 Tbs oil
- 2 Tbs honey
- 12 prunes or ½ cup dark raisins
- Water to cover carrots
In a small pot, sauté carrots in oil for10 minutes. Add honey, cover with water and allow simmering for 20 minutes or until tender. Add prunes or raisins and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve hot or room temperature.
Preparation 5 minutes
Sweet Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo
Orzo is rice-shaped pasta. You can swap it for any other small pasta, pearled barley, or quinoa.
- 16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 cups low-sodiumchickenstock
- 1 ½ tsp chicken spice
- 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
- 2 zucchini, quartered, sliced in half and chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 lb pearl onions peeled
- ½ cup honey (optional)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup orzo
- 12 dates
- 1 Tbs parsley, chopped
Cut chicken breasts in half on their thicker side to obtain two thinner pieces of each breast. Place washed chicken in a plastic bag or on a cutting board. Pound out with a meat mallet, rolling pin to even the flesh to 3/4 inch of thickness. Spray a 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium high heat. Add chicken and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until meat is browned on both sides. Add garlic, seasonings, and broth to skillet. Bring to a simmer. Add orzo and cover with a tight fitting lid. Simmer for 6 minutes. Stir in vegetables, honey and dates and continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Toss in chopped parsley.
Preparation 20 minutes
Variation: This recipe also works well with chicken pieces; adjust cooking time for a perfect dish.
Black Eyed Pea & Penne Pasta Salad
Black eye peas are part of the Simanim or symbolic food items we try to have this time of year. Here is a recipe that features this particular bean
- ½ cup Penne pasta or your favorite pasta
- 2 cups Black Eyed Peas cooked and drained
- 2 Diced Tomatoes with
- 1 Tbs Basil chopped
- 1 cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen, blanched 1 to 2 minutes
- ½ cup yellow bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup onion, minced
- ½ cup green onion, finely chopped for garnish
- 1 medium cucumber, quartered and sliced
- 3 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbs cold water
- 1 Tbs honey or to taste
- 3 Tbs Olive Oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 Tbs Soy Sauce, or salt to taste
Soak black eye peas for a couple hours, drain. Cook in medium size pot covered in salt water until tender. Drain and set aside.
Cook pasta as per package directions, rinse and drain. Place the pasta, tomatoes, corn, green and red peppers, green onion, red onion and cucumber in a medium mixing bowl. To prepare the dressing place in a sealed glass jar and shake to mix. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. For the best flavor, chill 1 hour before serving or it can be served at room temperature.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Romanian Style Eggplant Spread
This version of eggplant is a real favorite in our house, for it came down from the old country through the previous generations. Naturally it is never as good as it was at home, but almost! Garnished with pomegranate arils it is a perfect dip to serve this Yom Tov.
- 2 unpeeled eggplants
- ½ pomegranate arils (seeds)
- 2 cloves of garlic or to taste
- ½ lemon squeezed or to taste
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt or to taste
Pierce eggplants with a knife several times, broil for ½ hour until soft. Allow steam to escape and permit to cool so you can handle it. Remove pulp from the eggplant peel with a spoon, mash well with fork or masher. This does not call for a processor. Add all other ingredients.
Mix well and serve as a salad dressing or as a dip with crackers.
Preparation 15 minutes + baking time
Light Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 ripe firm pineapple, skin removed, cut into 16 thin wedges and cored
- Sour cherries to fit holes of pineapple
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180degrees C . Brush a 10-inch square or round baking pan with oil; line with a strip of parchment paper, leaving an overhand on all sides. Sprinkle bottom of pan with ¼ cup sugar. Trim pineapple wedges to fit into bottom of your choice pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together orange juice, eggs, vanilla, oil, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Pour batter over pineapple. Tap pan firmly on counter to settle batter, then smooth top.
Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool 20 minutes in pan; invert onto serving platter.
Preparation 15 minutes
Number of Servings: 12
Whole Grain Fluffy Brownies
These brownies are low fat, low sugar, whole grain, and yummy to boot. They should come out moist and cakey. A great finish for a Yom Tov meal. Serve with a dollop of ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup. This cake is so simple to make that it be mixed by hand.
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cupgranulatedsugar or ¾ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 Tbs Almond milk or water
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C.
Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.
In mixing bowl stir in oil, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, Almond milk and eggs. Then add in the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Make about 24-28 brownies depending on size and density.
Simanim Fruit Salad
A refreshing and healthy end for any meal or as an afternoon snack with many of our symbolic fruits included. Especially appreciated after a heavy Yom Tov meal.
- 1 seeded pomegranate
- 1cubed red delicious apple
- 4 sliced dates
- 1 orange cubed
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- ½ cup orange juice
Mix all cut fruits in a bowl and serve chilled
Preparation 20 minutes
Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!