Shanah Tovah! (Or in Hebrew: Happy New Year!) The wonderful Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah is upon us again, from Friday until Sunday. In the tradition, it’s an opportunity to both reflect on your actions during the year gone by and resolve to improve for the upcoming one.
Well, we resolve to eat well this coming year, starting with some classic Rosh Hashanah flavors and foods. (Our pals at The Spruce Eats did a great deep dive, so go there to nerd out further on the details of traditional holiday foods.) Dine gloriously this week and throughout the whole year, friends!
In Hebrew, dates are called tamarim, similar to the word “tam,” which means “to end.” (Enemies and evildoers are the target of this “end.”) Warm dates with Parmesan make a super-simple Rosh Hashanah appetizer. Medjool dates come stuffed with Parmesan cheese and walnuts, get a drizzle of more extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil, and delight every guest at the table.
Two types of kale mingle in this delightfully satisfying kale salad, to which roasted apples and pomegranate seeds add brightness and sweetness. The pomegranate symbolizes good deeds: We eat it, and hope that our own good deeds are as numerous as the fruit’s many ruby-hued seeds. The rimon, or pomegranate, is also special in that it is one of the Seven Species of Israel. It has traditionally been as a “new fruit” for this holiday’s Shehechiyanu blessing (celebrating new and unusual experiences).
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: It wouldn’t be Rosh Hashanah without challah! Break bread with the ones you love in style with a homemade loaf dotted in poppy or sesame seeds. (If your braiding technique needs work, not to worry; go here!) And no worries if you need to just pick up a loaf this year; the calendar year of 2020 has been bananas.
The Hebrew word for carrot, gezer, resembles g’zar, the Hebrew word for “decree.” Eating the vegetable for this holiday symbolizes a desire that God will nullify any negative decrees against us. More generally, carrots symbolize a desire for more blessings in the new year. Serve with a robust horseradish brisket for best results!
More carrots dot this plate of beautiful root vegetables, accompanying beets. Selek, the Hebrew word for beets, evokes the similar word siluk, “remove.” Beets often make a Rosh Hashanah cameo in that we want our enemies to be removed. (Whether or not you’re celebrating the holiday, this rosemary-strewn dish is a delightful vegetable side to serve during autumn.)
Apples and honey are a classic, sure, but these cakelets flecked with cinnamon, cardamom and plenty of wildflower honey are a delight. One hundred percent pure honey is Kosher, but you can seek out a special varietal honey, such as this one. There’s no better way to with someone a Shana Tova U’Metukah—a good and sweet new year.