It’s a wonderful time of year to include the sweet flavors of Rosh Hashanah. Apples, honey, fruits, and cinnamon are aromas and tastes that are warm and perfect for the fall in addition to Rosh Hashanah. These are just a few of the menu additions I’m including at my table. The ribs freeze well, the aroma from the rice smells like it’s going to be a sweet New Year, and the dessert is both adult and kid friendly and definitely more fun than any apple cake. The honey cookies are the best I’ve had and they make a very large amount so they are perfect to send over to a friend too.

Wine Braised Rosh Hashanah Short Ribs

Photo by A Little Bit of Baking

Serves 5

It’s best to braise short ribs a day (or at least several hours) ahead of serving. First, this allows you to chill the sauce so it can be defatted thoroughly. Also, the flavors only get better with time. To reheat, arrange the meat snugly in a baking dish with sauce, cover with foil, and warm in the oven.

  • 4-1/2 to 5 lb. short ribs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dried figs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, optional

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and add half of the ribs to the pot (or as many as will fit without overlap), and cook, until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs.

Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat until simmering. Add carrots and onions to the pan. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the figs, ginger, garlic, star anise, and cinnamon sticks, and stir until fully coated. Cook for a minute or two, then add 1/2 cup of the red wine into the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, then bring to a boil and reduce until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 1 minute.

Transfer all the ribs (and any juices that have accumulated) back into the pot. Pour the tomatoes, chicken broth, soy sauce, remaining 1/2 cup of red wine, and 1 cup water over the ribs, arrange the ribs as evenly as possible.

Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and put the pot in the oven. Cook, turning the ribs with tongs about every 40 minutes, until they are fork tender, about 2 ½ hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.

Serve the ribs with the sauce spooned over. Sprinkle with parsley, mint, and pomegranate seeds.

Seared Cod with Balsamic, Pomegranate, and Leek Jam

Serves 8

This is a wonderful Yom Tov fish because it incorporates some of the traditional flavors of the holiday, including pomegranate and honey. Although this makes for a nice first course, its showstopper appearance and great taste make it a main course in my home. It can be made a day ahead of time and rewarmed or served at room temperature. Do not freeze prepared fish, as the defrosting process changes the taste and texture. Frozen fish can be used, just defrost in the refrigerator, rinse, and pat dry before cooking.

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium leeks, dark green tops removed and discarded, white part halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 8 (4-ounce) cod fillets
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add leeks, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and brown for 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Add balsamic vinegar, red wine, pomegranate juice and honey and bring to a boil and cook until syrupy and thickened, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a separate cast iron skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle cod with onion powder, paprika, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Sear cod, top side down, for 3 minutes, until slightly browned. Gently flip fish over, add ½ of leek mixture to the skillet and place in the oven to finish cooking, about 6-8 minutes.

To serve, transfer fish and onion mixture onto a platter. Top with remaining leek mixture and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Alternatively, cod can be cooked in a 400°F oven for 12-14 minutes. Make the balsamic pomegranate jam as instructed and serve over fish with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.

Oven Roasted Honey Glazed Carrots

Photo by Healthy Fitness Meals

Serves 5

There is something about roasting vegetables that brings out the natural sweet caramel flavor. For Rosh Hashanah I often sprinkle them with pomegranate seeds and sometimes even roast dates with them too.

  • 12 carrots, peeled, and sliced in spears (or colorful carrots or heirloom carrots)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, optional
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Slice carrots, at an angle, into 2 to 3 inch pieces. Transfer cut carrots to a large mixing bowl.

Drizzle with oil and honey over carrots and add fresh thyme then season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Roast for about 20 minutes, or until carrots are caramelized and tender. Garnish with parsley and pomegranate seeds.

Fall Spiced Rice with Rosh Hashanah Apples and Figs

Photo by Rookie Cookie

Serves 6

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple cored and diced
  • 1½ cup basmati rice
  • 2½ cups chicken stock or water
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ⅓ cup chopped dried figs
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add diced onion and apple; sauté until onion is translucent and apple and onion are tender, 5-6 minutes. Add rice and stir often until lightly browned and toasty about, 6-8 minutes. Add chicken stock, raisins, figs, kosher salt, allspice, cinnamon, and cinnamon stick, and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Serve warm.

Ice Cream Sundae with Cinnamon Apple Sauce and Magic Chocolate Sauce

Photo by Brown Eyed Baker

Serves 6

This is a fun and versatile dessert that is great for a Yom Tov meal. I use vanilla soy creamy ice cream. The apple sauce is great in crepes, on its own and covered in this yummy chocolate. The magic chocolate sauce hardens when it is poured onto cold ice cream.

  • 2 pints pareve vanilla ice cream

Apple Cinnamon Sauce

  • ½ cup margarine
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups sliced apples (I mix varieties, as long as they are cooking ones, for effect)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add wine and bring to a boil. Cook until wine has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Add apples, cinnamon, and sugar. Stir to coat.

Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Lower the heat to a simmer and cover; continue cooking for 20 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apples break up and sauce is chunky.

Magic Chocolate Sauce

Serves 5

  • 8 ounces chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

Pinch of kosher salt

In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate and oil. Melt over low heat, stirring while melting, until smooth and uniformly liquid. Stir in the salt.

Store at room temperature.

To serve: Spoon apple cinnamon sauce into dishes. Scoop ice cream on top, and pour chocolate sauce over to harden. Serve immediately.

Super Easy Honey Cookies

Photo by Key Ingredient.com

Makes 4 - 5 dozen

Classic and good! For real, these are good and moist and easy to make.

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 cups flour

In the bowl of a mixer, beat eggs, vanilla, honey, sugar and oil, until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, orange zest and flour and beat gently until combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Roll cookies into balls and place on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned but soft in the center.

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