There are many symbolic foods which are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. The most well known are apples and honey, which are consumed for a ‘sweet new year’. Another commonly eaten food is carrots, which are often made into tsimmes – a sweet, slow-cooked carrot stew, frequently with dried fruit added. Again, this dish brings the promise of sweetness to the new year, and in addition, the sliced carrots bear a (very slight) resemblance to golden coins, which offer the hope of prosperity and plenty in the year ahead too.
Alongside these commonly eaten dishes, there are a whole host of other symbolic foods and ingredients which are less frequently seen. In the interests of variety, I try to include at least some of them in my Rosh Hashanah cooking. Some are easy – pomegranate seeds and beetroots for instance, can be thrown into or over just about anything. Others however, are not so easy. I’ve yet to succeed in getting fenugreek into anything. Maybe this year…
Anyway, this easy autumnal slaw includes a variety of Rosh Hashanah staples in one delicious and simple side dish. It is a lovely addition to a festive lunch, and is extremely tasty as well as being a gorgeous colour! You can prepare the vegetables and the dressing in advance (up to 24 hours) and refrigerate them separately until needed. Once you mix them together the vegetables will start to generate liquid, so do wait till the last minute before dressing the vegetables. You can make the salad parev (dairy free) by using soya yogurt in the dressing in place of natural yogurt.
Beets, carrots and leeks are all symbolic foods for Rosh Hashanah, but I did consider throwing a grated apple in there too. In the end, I had a huge bowl of slaw without it, so volume considerations swayed my decision to leave it out. If you do make this with an apple, please let me know in the comments how it turns out 🙂
The dressing is super-simple and really fabulously delicious. After the High Holydays I will be making this to go over all sorts of salads, not just this slaw. Yum.
This made a huge mound of slaw – serves at least 6 as a side dish.
- 250g beetroots
- 400g carrots
- 1 leek (approx. 150g)
- 15g piece of fresh root ginger
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 5 tbsp natural yogurt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Peel the beetroots and carrots and shred/grate. (I did this in the food processor).
- Trim and wash the leek and slice finely. Mix with the shredded beets and carrots.
- Peel the ginger and grate finely, catching as much of the juice as possible.
- Mix the grated ginger and juice with the honey, yogurt and olive oil by shaking in a screw-top jar, or whisking thoroughly.
- Just before serving, pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Serve at once.