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Rosh Hashanah Menus

Anyone have some ideas or inspiration for Rosh Hashanah? This will be my first time hosting meals for RH, and I want to do something festive and exciting. I would love to include the traditional ingredients like apples, pomegranates, etc, but hopefully in a more fun, unique way than the really standard, typical stuff. Any ideas??

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  1. I made a brisket that was braised in a sauce containing pomegranate juice a year or two ago. I believe the recipe came from Michael Solomonov and was in the NY Times.

    1. Try a salad containing many of the traditional segulah foods. The original list in the gemara is: leek, beet greens (or spinach), dates, gourds, and fenugreek. Ancient custom adds pomegranate to that list, and Ashkenazi tradition adds carrots. So how about a spinach salad with pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, sliced leek, carrot slices, and chopped dates. Not sure about the fenugreek, since I hate the stuff, but if you like it you could use it in a dressing, perhaps together with date honey if that works for you. You might also want to add modern segulot such as bracha-li, avocado (so we should have a good advocate), celery (for a good salary), etc.

      6 Replies
      1. re: zsero

        The spinach & date salad from the Jerusalem cookbook is absolutely delicious and will be making an appearance on our table. I'll just have to come up with something else crunchy to substitute for the nuts in the salad. I just subbed out the butter with olive oil.
        http://www.food.com/recipe/baby-spina...

        Also, Solomonov's pumpkin risotto from the same NYT article avitrek referenced is delicious, but may be more work than you'd want pre-yontiff.
        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/din...

        1. re: rockycat

          Oooh..good idea! I love that salad. (And I am not strict about not using nuts)

          1. re: rockycat

            How about pumpkin seeds for the nuts? Never saw this recipe, but it looks good. Thanks, I think I might make it (and we do nuts on RH, so no problem there, though I'm thinking pecans instead of almonds).

            EDIT: Oops . . . didn't see zsero already mentioned pumpkins seeds. And now that I think of it, sunflower seeds might work nicely too.

            1. re: rockycat

              If it matters to you, bear in mind that almonds are not אגוזים. So if your only reason for avoiding nuts is the gematria of אגוז then you can use them. As far as I know, in Chazal's Hebrew אגוזים means walnuts. I know they referred to אגוזים, לוזים, ושקדים (walnuts, hazenuts, and almonds) as three separate things. I don't know whether modern Ivrit also makes this distinction.

              1. re: zsero

                But minhag is pretty important to some, even beyond logic. I once brought honey cake with some almond slices on top (shkaydim, not egozim) to the home of someone who doesn't eat nuts on RH, and he wouldn't eat them. Luckily they were just on top, so he picked them off. And this guy is among the most logical people I know.

                1. re: queenscook

                  pine nuts are a seed, not a nut - try those. you can also use peanuts -

          2. Last year instead of using beets which no one in my house likes, I made little quiches with beet greens (the tops of fresh beets that most people dump). They don't taste like the root. For years I've had a variety of honeys, different flowers, flavored, etc. It's fun to try the different ones.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sharonfl

              Re: honey: If you have access to a Trader Joe's, you might consider picking up a container of creamed honey. It's not a really unusual flavor, but the texture is unusual and fascinates some who have never seen such a thing.

              1. re: queenscook

                Funny you should mention that. Creamed honey was always a big tradition on RH in my house growing up, but I haven't had it in years. Maybe I'll stop at TJ's and pick some up!

                1. re: ahuva

                  I didn't use a recipe, but you could probably use a spinach quiche recipe substituting the beet tops. I used those miniature phyllo shells instead of a large quiche since it was just a symbolic food and Yom Tov meals are already pretty big. I wilted chopped beet tops (and a little onion for flavor) in the microwave. Be sure to squeeze out the wilted tops because if the beets are red, there is red pigment in the leaf veins. I didn't use the large central vein of the leaves for that reason and I was afraid it might be a little tough. You don't want the liquid and the pigment mixed with the eggs isn't all that attractive. If you go the baby quiche route, they bake very quickly. Overcooked eggs are rubbery!