Top 5: Holiday recipes to bring to the table

Taste TLV team shares its favorite recipes for Rosh Hashana including cakes, pies, halla and salads.

By TASTE TLV TEAM
September 16, 2012 10:41
Honey for Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana honey. (photo credit: Karen Cohen)

Rosh Hashana is all about celebrating the transformation of life. It’s a reflection of the year past, the acknowledgment of the present, and the anticipation of the future. This idea is best reflected through the season in which we celebrate our New Year, the fall. Autumn is the season that the bridges together the hottest and the coldest months.

As the leaves change color, transformation is alive in the nature around us and as the autumn breeze subtly makes its way into our ending summer days. Rosh Hashana calls for the perfect occasion to empty our pantries of baking goods and combine ingredients with the crisp flavors of the season.

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Rosh Hashana is a traditional occasion of bountiful food, family, and gratefulness.  As we welcome in the Jewish new year, we taste the sweetness of our land which roots us to the earth and inspires us for the year to come.

Even Tel Aviv, a city that is famous for being alive 24 hours a day, slows down during Rosh Hashana. Being in the big city, away from family and friends can be difficult. Food plays central role in the holiday and even if the big city can seem too much, certain recipes transcend locational boundaries and let us feel as if we could be anywhere. 

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Rosh Hashana recipes, from our table to yours. 

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1.  Harvest Cake with Vanilla Cream
Parve/ Gluten Free



When whipping up baked goods, it’s always an inclination of mine to sneak some vegetables inside for a boost of nutrition.  My favorite Rosh Hashana recipe meets this criteria, as a healthy option for your dessert table. I reckon the kids won’t even know they’re eating carrots and zucchinis.

Last year I made this healthy harvest cake with locally grown apples and zucchinis from the market in Tel Aviv, and it was a booming success. Bringing together the sweet flavors of honey and carrots, with softened bits of apples and zucchini, results in the perfect blend of savory and sweet. 


(Courtesy Roost)

Recipe tip: This recipe is not overly sweet, so you can easily serve the cake during the meal (if you choose to skip the frosting). However, I wholeheartedly recommend the vanilla cream to top off the taste.

- Rachel Brender

2. Brown Butter and Cheddar Apple Pie
Dairy

Without the abundance of deciduous trees and the changing leaves there is one thing that welcomes me to fall even in this Middle Eastern metropolis, and that is pie. So when the honey and apples start to appear in the grocery stores I'm reminded that the New Year is about here and summer is ending. So what do I do? I stock up on apples and wrap them in flaky dough and bake them in the oven until they burst in a sweet surrender.


(Courtesy Melanie Einzig)

I’m a sucker for apple pie, apple crumble and all the rest of those wholesome, home-baked apple cinnamon desserts. I’ve tried a thousand recipes and even made up some of my own in search of that original apple pie with a twist. After all, we’ve all had apple pie but when I’m bringing an apple pie to my family’s Rosh Hashana table it must fresh and inventive - something they will be talking about for years.

This recipe forgoes the cinnamon and nutmeg to make way for the browned butter with a kicker of cheddar baked into the crust.

Recipe tip: The crust calls for at least 30 minutes chilling in the fridge, for convenience sake I like to leave the crust in the fridge overnight.

- Kassandra Grunewald

3. Horeshte Beh
Meat

Nothing evokes the feeling of Rosh Hashana for me more than quince. Quince is a fruit belonging to the apple and pear family. However unlike its relatives, quince can not be eaten raw because of it’s bitter flesh. Quince fruit only blooms in the fall, therefore whenever the season comes, you’ll find most Persian homes across the world making one of their most prized and delicious stews, Horeshte Beh (Quince Stew).


(Courtesy Erika Penzer Kerekes)

Every Rosh Hashana my mother proudly makes her version, and the intoxicating perfume of quince fills our home and warms our hearts. The final outcome is a deep, complex stew that has elements of sweet and tangy.  I hope that on this New Year, you will try this recipe and make it a staple in your home.

- Judith Goldstein

4. Apple and Honey Halla
Parve

When I think of Rosh Hashana, I can taste sweet apples dipped in honey and can smell the aroma of fresh baked halla emerging from the oven. It is for this reason that this apple and honey halla is one of my absolute top Rosh Hashana picks. 

While this delicious twist on a traditional halla does include sugar, honey, and apples, it establishes the perfect balance between a dessert and meal halla, making it extremely versatile. It can be served alongside the holiday meal and/or with dessert.


(Courtesy WikiCommons)

Recipe tip:  If you are not a fan of raisins, feel free to substitute with other dried fruit and/or nuts for texture. Dates, figs, cherries, chopped pecans, walnuts, and almonds would all work great here.

- Molly Cutler

5. Pomegranate Salad with Celery and Mint Leaves
Parve/ Gluten Free

Towards the end of summer, when the Jewish New Year approaches, I become nostalgic about past previous years and reminisce about succulent pomegranates and the smells of honey and spice. Along with apples and honey, pomegranates symbolize the Jewish New Year: a holiday filled with optimism and new beginnings.


(Karen Biton-Cohen)

For this must-have holiday recipe, all you need is pomegranate seeds, celery, and mint. With three ingredients you can create an effortless and simply delicious dish. You can choose to serve the salad during dinner, or perhaps after a heavy holiday meal, your guests would rather enjoy it as a light, refreshing dessert.

- Karen Cohen


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