Rosh Hashanah only comes once a year, but there are so many foods associated with it that there’s plenty of room to get creative! The Kosherdotcom team is always trying to keep it interesting — for you AND for our own holiday meals. Here are the many ways our Kosherdotcom family uses simanim to start the year off right!
Yussi Weisz (Shabbos with Yussi):
Carrot: I add apricot, pineapple, a little honey, and orange juice to make it interesting, so my year should stay interesting.
Leek: I sauté it with raisins and celery so my year should be sleek with a ‘raise-in my salary! Apple and honey: There are 2 songs a year my family can’t miss: Dayenu and Dip the Apple!
Pomegranate: This fruit takes any salad, main, or side dish to the next level, and that’s what we all want for the year to come. (Now think of a pulled lamb shoulder with a sticky pomegranate drizzle…)
Fish head: We only use the ones with the eyeball in it so we can do the scary fish game with the kids.
Renee Muller (Renee’s Table): In my house, my kids and I bake my honey muffins every year and add apples to them. It’s a Rosh Hashanah tradition!
Naomi Nachman (Sunny Side Up):
Every year, I make roasted carrots and potato leek soup for my family. Apple and honey go perfectly together in cake (no surprise there!), and I toss pomegranate seeds in my salads for an extra burst of color and flavor! Dates are great in muffins, and as for the fish head… well, I buy the jelly kind!
Esty Wolbe (Easy Does It): I like to create a simanim assortment around each dinner plate as opposed to on one large tray, so everyone has a bit of everything. I use small clear cups for each item individually and arrange them in a semi circle above the dinner plate. I usually get honey straws and add them into the napkin ring above the napkin. If I can score some cute mini apples, I place them near the honey sticks. I make a fish head per my husband’s request, but since it makes everyone else gag, I give each place setting the head of a gummy fish instead. Adults and kids LOVE it!
Danielle Renov (Matter of Taste): Every year a few friends and I group together to do a “Simanim Swap.” With the start of school, and all the yuntif cooking we have going on, splitting up the simanim is the easiest and most fun way to do them. We each pick one and make enough for everyone. Then, Erev Rosh Hashanah, we swap so we each have all of the simanim. It’s so much fun to sit down to our Rosh Hashanah seder and taste everyone’s newest simanim creations, and on top of that we get to spend more time on our chosen siman coming up with something new and interesting.
Every year, I get stuck with the gourd. UGH. Am I right? It’s definitely the hardest one to make edible! No worries, though, I like a good challenge. Last year, I took something I really don’t like (gourd) and mashed it up with something I really do like (Chinese food). And tada! GENERAL TSO GOURD.
Chanie Nayman (Kosherdotcom Editor-in-Chief): I always have an Apple Pomegranate Arugula Salad. Every. Single. Year. And then I often make a salad with whatever is left from the new fruits on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. I like to make this rice with squash, leek, and pom seeds too. My favorite thing to make for Rosh Hashana is a pomegranate seed lemon curd pie, from Estee Kafra’s Cooking with Color. The flavors go sooo well together and it’s so bright and beautiful. Win all around.
Leah Gottheim (Kosherdotcom VP):
I grew up serving just the simanim plain — apples slices in honey, carrots on a plate, etc. The first time I saw someone use simanim in recipes was during my first year in seminary. The family in Har Nof that I spent Rosh Hashanah with used every single siman you could imagine in a different recipe, from leek pancakes to gourds cooked and put in salads. I wish I remembered all the recipes so I could try them myself! My husband’s favorite is to do pun simanim. When he was single he ate a pear on Rosh Hashanah to find his zivug and then he met me the day after Yom Kippur!
Jenna Grunfeld (Kosherdotcom Managing Editor): Growing up, hardly a single Rosh Hashanah passed without homemade stuffed cabbage from scratch. Half of my family unwraps them just to eat the meat, so I usually end up with some extra servings of cabbage, which is fine by me!
Rivi Landesman (Kosherdotcom Social Media Manager):
I’ve got a great recipe for apple cranberry crumble I love to make, and I love to make a spinach and mushroom quiche every year. For gourds, never underestimate how incredible it is simple roasted with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper! Pomegranates are perfect in a salad with some nuts, spinach, fruit, and a vinaigrette.
Chaia Frishman (Kosherdotcom Community Manager)
Since our family isn’t into the traditional simanim dishes (no tzimmes will cross my lips, no leek salad will don my plate) we try to be creative with the food itself. Bowls of carrot dill soup or roasted leek, beets and butternut squash grace our table. As a writer, I love plays on words. I’m serving top of the rib so that we should also be at the TOP and not the bottom and brussel sprouts to symbolize that the
true geula should sprout soon (es tzemach David avdecha…)
Michal Frischman (Kosherdotcom Development and Consultant):
I make my sister’s sister-in-law’s sister’s (sounds like a joke, but that’s legit) amazing zucchini kugel recipe, lots of roasted veggie simanim for side dishes, and a maple bourbon apple pie trifle for dessert, with honey instead of maple. Plus, I make a pomegranate sauce for my sous vide roast.
Hopefully, these ideas will bring some inspiration to you Rosh Hashanah planning! Let us know in the comments what your family does with simanim!
Apple Muffin Recipe Reproduced from Our Table by Renee Muller with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, LTD., Photography By Daniel Lailah
General Tso Gourd Photo by Danielle Renov