This week, Jewish people all around the world are celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Directly translated as “head of the year,” the holiday is observed to commemorate the creation of the world, and a good meal is at the center of the festivities, especially one featuring foods that symbolize life’s sweetness.
Ring in the occasion by hosting friends and family for a five-course meal that’s elegant yet simple to put together, and timeless, but also classic in its selection. Each course is basic enough that it won’t involve too much fuss, but five courses will still feel plentiful, and guests will be happy to devour the new year dishes they’ve come to look forward to, like challah, brisket and apple cake.
Check out the menu with recipes below.
Earthy beets and slightly sweet carrots are a winning combination, especially when they are tossed with a tart vinaigrette with the bright flavors of lemon juice and orange zest. For the prettiest presentation, use separate bowls to dress the carrots and beets; otherwise, the beet juice will stain the carrots bright red.
To Break Bread: Challah
It wouldn’t be Rosh Hashanah without a beautiful braided loaf of challah, a cake-like egg bread eaten during Shabbat and holiday meals, on the table. The dough used for making the cakelike challah can be formed into a variety of shapes, including braids, rolls and knots. See our step-by-step guide for how to make challah; if you’re in a time crunch, pick up a ready-made loaf from a nearby bakery to serve alongside the rest of the meal.
The Star of the Meal: Sous Vide Brisket
Seasoned with honey and spices, this brisket makes a showstopping main course—and the low, slow cooking and controlled temperature of sous vide make it the perfect technique for creating tender, juicy brisket. Bonus: The brisket can be cooked ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
On the Side: Spiced Roasted Carrots
You’re going to want a little veg to go with that meat, and this side dish of spiced carrots is a lovely accompaniment. A simple spice blend made with sumac, a slightly tart and fruity spice popular in North African and Middle Eastern cooking, livens up these roasted root vegetables.
A Sweet Finish: Frosted Apple Cake
Highlight one of Rosh Hashanah’s most symbolic foods, apples, by making them the star of the dessert course—and serve with honey on the side for a little extra symbolism. Use a soft, tart variety, such as Gravenstein, Macintosh, Pippin or Granny Smith apples.