latkes (front) and carrot tzimmes, a stew of carrots
and sweet potatoes, bring vegetables to the Rosh
tzimmes, a sweet fruit and vegetable stew, is a dish Carol
Ungar’s mother always made for Rosh Hashana. The golden
carrot coins signaled prosperity, recalls the cookbook
author; what more appropriate dish to mark the Jewish new
year, the two-day holiday that begins this year at sundown
Hashana foods are traditionally as rich in symbolism as they
are in flavor. Apples dipped in honey may be the most
familiar dish of the holiday, but don’t forget the role
vegetables play on the table.
whole thing about Rosh Hashana is sweetness: Honey, fruits,
root vegetables, for a sweet new year," Marlena Spieler,
an American-born food writer and cookbook author, wrote in
an email from her home outside London. Roasted carrots are a
constant, but she also cited a North African seven-vegetable
couscous that some communities make for the holiday.
in other families, veggies sometimes get shortchanged.
"Eastern European Jewish cooking isn’t really
vegetable centric, and that definitely extends to holiday
cooking," Leah Koenig, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based author
of "Modern Jewish Cooking," wrote in an email.
personally like vegetables," said Ungar, a former New
Yorker who now lives in Kiryat Yearim, a suburb of
Jerusalem. "Traditional Jewish cuisine was very
oriented to vegetables."
is author of the new book "Jewish Soul Food:
Traditional Fare and What It Means" (Brandeis
University Press, $27.95). The dishes of Rosh Hashana are
what led to her exploration of food symbolism in Judaism.
These foods evoke prosperity, sweetness and fertility, she
tradition of Rosh Hashana is to enjoy the first fruits and
vegetables of the season, said Amelia Saltsman, the Santa
Monica, Calif.-based author of "The Seasonal Jewish
Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Tradition" (Sterling Epicure,
$29.95). The book lists winter squash, winter greens and
root vegetables among the stars of Rosh Hashana menus. But
her book also lists "anti-good luck foods."
people avoid sour foods or black ones (olives, raisins,
eggplant, coffee, chocolate), the color of mourning,"
Saltsman wrote. "I leave it to you to decide how much
‘insurance’ you need."
CARROT AND SWEET POTATO TZIMMES
1 hour, 15 minutes
8 to 10 servings
tzimmes has a reputation for requiring a lot of work, Amelia
Saltsman writes in "The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen"
that her version "couldn’t be easier. … Roast
carrots, sweet potatoes and dried Santa Rosa-type plums (or
common dried prunes) in fresh orange juice until they are
tender, browned, glazed with citrus and deliciously infused
with orange." Pair with brisket or chicken, she adds,
or serve with farro or quinoa for a pareve/vegan main
course. The tzimmes can be made a day ahead and reheated.
6 to 8
pounds carrots, peeled
pounds sweet potatoes
pound shallots (about 8 large)
3/4 pound dried plums or pitted prunes (vary the amount
depending on how sweet and fruity you want the dish)
3 to 4
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
ground white or black pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the zest in large strips
from 2 of the oranges and the lemon. Be sure to press down
only hard enough to capture the colored part of the skin,
not the bitter white pith. Juice enough of the oranges to
yield 2 1/2 cups juice. Reserve the lemon for another use.
the carrots crosswise into 2-inch chunks or lengthwise into
2-inch chunks. (If carrots are very fat, first halve them
lengthwise.) Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into large
bite-size chunks. Peel and quarter the shallots lengthwise.
Use kitchen scissors to snip the prunes.
Place carrots, sweet potatoes, shallots, prunes and lemon
and orange zests in a roasting pan large enough to hold all
the vegetables in more or less a single layer. Toss with
enough olive oil to coat evenly, season with salt and
pepper, and pour the juice over all.
Roast, turning the vegetables once or twice during cooking,
until tender and browned in places and most of the juice is
absorbed, about 1 1/4 hours. For a saucier finished dish,
add another 1/2 to 1 cup juice during the last 20 minutes of
cooking. The juice should thicken slightly. Serve warm or at
information per serving: 257 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g
saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 52 g carbohydrates, 5 g
protein, 155 mg sodium, 8 g fiber
GREEN ROSH HASHANA LATKES
about 4 minutes per side
24 to 30 patties
latkes are strongly linked to Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival
of Lights. Yet latkes, made of different vegetables perhaps,
can be enjoyed at other times. These latkes made with Swiss
chard or beet green leaves are "a palatable way to eat
silka which is the Aramaic name for beet greens,"
writes Carol Ungar in an email. The author of "Jewish
Soul Food" says the green vegetable is eaten with Rosh
Hashana to be rid of enemies. This recipe makes small,
bite-size pancakes appropriate as an hors d’oeuvre.
large Swiss chard or beet green leaves, shredded (about 2
cup matzo meal
small onion, finely diced
and pepper to taste
oil for frying
a food processor using the blade attachment, process all
ingredients except frying oil quickly until a paste forms.
(There should still be identifiable vegetable pieces.) Do
only a few pulses; you don’t want to create a true puree.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. With wet hands,
form chard mixture into thin patties the size of your palm
and fry patties, in batches, until golden brown on each
side, about 2 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
information per patty (for 30 patties): 22 calories, 1 g
fat, 0 g saturated fat, 12 mg cholesterol, 2 g
carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 42 mg sodium, 0 g fiber
About 1 quart
always like pickles on my holiday table, the sourness of a
pickle is not something that will deter me from a sweet new
year," writes Marlena Spieler, the American-born,
England-based cookbook author, in an email. "This year
though I’m going to serve a homemade sweet pickle, a
delicious pickle inspired by my visits to Taiwan and Japan:
not only is it sweet, but it is golden yellow, infused with
turmeric, and to me, looks like the color of happiness. The
pickle is very easy to do and takes about two days."
You can add more turmeric for a more golden color; Spieler
says the hue brightens with a few days of pickling. Do shake
or stir the pickles occasionally while they are
refrigerated. For the chili pepper, Spieler suggests picking
one with flavor and "just a tiny bit of heat."
large daikon radish, peeled, cut into quarters or halves
lengthwise then sliced thinly
red chili pepper, seeded, coarsely chopped
cup each: sugar, rice vinegar
the daikon with the chili pepper and the salt. Leave in a
bowl for about half an hour. Add the sugar, rice vinegar and
turmeric. Mix well. (If the daikon is not completely
submerged, add up to 1/3 cup water.) Transfer to a washed
jar, mixing/turning up and down for a day or two. Place in
the refrigerator, where you can keep it for up to two weeks,
digging into it as desired.
Variables in absorption rate of the brine make nutritional