This year, The Jewish New Year of 5775 comes only two days after the first day of autumn, on Sept. 23rd. Since Jewish holidays almost always have a culinary aspect, I thought I would feature some foods that are in sync with the holiday. And since the foods featured are in season, I thought I would give you a list of what IS in season now. This list is from Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables by Andrea Chesman, Storey Publications, 2007, which I hope to review soon.
The author has two categories for this time of year: Mid to Late Summer & Fall into Winter:
The list for Mid-to-Late Summer is: artichokes, celery & celery root, chiles & peppers, corn, eggplant*, fennel, okra, shell beans, sweet potatoes, & tomatoes.
The list for Fall into Winter is: Belgian endives, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower*, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, winter squashes & pumpkins.
However, the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 need to be taken into account when buying these veggies. (ewg.org)
Here is the Dirty Dozen Plus: apples*, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet belle peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas, potatoes, hot peppers & domestic blueberries. (EWG recommends buying these organically grown.)
Here is the *Clean 15, that is, those lowest in pesticides: avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, eggplant, grapefruit, domestic cantaloupe, cauliflower & sweet potatoes.
*Apples & honey are traditionally eaten during Rosh Hoshanah to usher in a sweet New Year, and since apples are in season now, this food is a perfect one for the holiday. In fact, I purposely don’t eat apples in the summer so I can savor the first crisp apples of fall. The easiest way to serve this holiday food is merely to cut up fresh, organic apples of different kinds and place a small bowl of honey beside the apples for dipping.
Last year I posted a recipes for apple cake made with honey, so here is the link for that recipe: https://www.menupause.info/archives/12215. This year I purchased some raw honey and hope to make a honey cake with it, so if I find a good recipe I will post the link or if I come up with my own, I will post that as well.
The other aspect of food for Jewish Holidays is to make dishes that have items cut in circles, which represent coins or financial success. So there is carrot tsimmes, a dish made with carrots & honey, round challah (braided bread) with raisins, so it is round and sweet or any round food. Here is my recipe for carrots with honey. If you can’t get them multi-colored carrots in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, use regular carrots.
Calico Carrots with Honey
Utensils: Cutting Board & Knife, saucepan for cooking, slotted spoon, serving bowl
Prep. Time: About 10 minutes
Cook. Time: About 20 minutes
Category: Vegetarian (If you use maple syrup instead of honey, and oil instead of butter, it would be vegan)
3 carrots: one orange, one yellow one purple (or just orange carrots) See how the carrots look when raw>>>>>>>>>>
1 to 1 1/2 cups water or stock
1 Tbl. (raw) honey (a generous tablespoon)
i tsp. butter, ghee or mild oil
cinnamon stick & whole cloves (optional)
cinnamon and cloves powder
1. Place liquid in a shallow saucepan and place on low heat.
2. While water or stock is warming up, scrub the carrots & peel if not organic. Slice into 1/2′ thick “coins.”
3. Add carrots to liquid and raise to medium-high heat. Add honey add butter and simmer about 10 minutes.
(If you have them, also add cinnamon stick and a few whole cloves.)
4. When carrots are tender but not mushy, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and into a serving bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve hot or cold.
Variations: Add a peeled and cubed sweet potato. Add prunes. See another flavor variation below.
For this dish, instead of using honey, I used curry spices because I am involved in Ayurveda, an Indian health philosophy. So this variation is more spicy than sweet, but the carrots are still coin shaped, so maybe this is Jewish fusion cooking!
Cook the carrots in a small amount of water or stock, drain and add turmeric, ginger, mustard and garlic in small amounts after tossing the carrots in one Tbl. olive oil. Garnish with parsley.
Final variation: Curried Carrots with green beans. Same recipe as Curried Carrots, but I steamed some green beans in another pot while the carrots cooked.
Note: My next Kitchen Nutrition Recipes will be another round food, delicata squash with quinoa, which is also a round seed/grain. I also plan a salad-in-the -round using leeks & radishes.