A Sweet New Year

By Eileen Goltz

On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the meal begins with challah dipped in honey to symbolize sweetness, abundance and the hope for a sweet year ahead. The challah (not braided like on Shabbat but rather baked in a circle to symbolize that the coming year roll around smoothly without sadness or sorrow) is also dipped in honey before eating. Next come the apples and honey and then, usually, enough food to feed a small third-world country.

For many, this is the only way that honey is served during the High Holiday season. However, in our home I always try and find as many new and interesting honey recipes as possible and then serve them from the beginning of Rosh Hashanah until the end of Simchat Torah.

The following honey recipes are especially appropriate for Rosh Hashanah but great to use all year around.

WILD RICE AND HONEY MUSHROOM STUFFING

Serves 4

1 cup wild rice

4 cups water, salted to taste

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1/4 cup honey

In small saucepan, combine wild rice with salted water. Bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender, approximately 45 minutes. While the rice is cooking, heat oil in skillet (medium high heat). Stir in onions, celery and garlic; sauté until onion is translucent and celery is soft, about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms; sauté until mushrooms are soft, about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. When rice is cooked, drain in a colander. In large bowl, combine rice and mushroom-onion mixture. Add apricots, parsley and honey, stirring until mixed well. Serve warm as a side dish or use to stuff poultry.

HONEY BAKED RED ONIONS

Serves 6

3 large red onions

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon paprika, preferably sweet Hungarian

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and cut onions in half crosswise. Place cut side down in shallow baking dish just large enough to hold all onions in one layer. Sprinkle with water; cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn onions cut side up. Combine remaining ingredients. Spoon half of mixture over onions. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, 15 minutes. Baste with remaining honey mixture; continue baking 15 minutes or until tender.

 

ROASTED PEPPER SALAD WITH HONEY BALSAMIC DRESSING

Serves 4

Salad

3 red bell peppers, or a combination of red, yellow and green bell peppers

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup golden raisins

Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon thyme

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut bell peppers lengthwise in half; cut each half lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces. Arrange peppers in 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; stir to coat. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, soak raisins in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. In large bowl, combine dressing ingredients; whisk until blended. Add roasted peppers and raisins; toss lightly to coat. Serve at room temperature.

HONEY SWEET POTATO BISCUITS

Makes 12 biscuits

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potato

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup milk or non-dairy creamer

Preheat oven to 400°. In bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the shortening and set aside. In another bowl combine the orange peel, lemon peel, sweet potato, honey and milk. Mix well and add the sweet potato mixture to the dry ingredients. Knead dough 3-4 times lightly and roll out on floured surface to 1 inch thickness, cut 2 1/2 inch rounds and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 15 to 18 minutes until golden.

Ms. Goltz

© Eileen Goltz

Ms. Goltz is a freelance journalist whose articles focus on the modern kosher kitchen. She writes a syndicated food column called “Slice of Life” and recently published her first cookbook, Perfectly Pareve (Feldheim, 2001). A graduate of Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School of Paris, she lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her husband and 2 sons.

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This article was featured in the Fall 2002 issue of Jewish Action.
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