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A Simple Gourmet Rosh Hashanah

September 11, 2017 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Combining savory and sweet flavors to create out-of-this-world dishes.

It’s that time again. Time for personal reflection, improvement, praying and lots of cooking. I’m starting to fill my freezer with delicious soups, roasts, and cakes and hope to inspire you to try a few new dishes. I like pairing savory flavors with the sweet flavors of Rosh Hashanah, carrot and apple with maple, sweet creamy dressing with roasted beets and crunchy jicama, savory brisket with braised onions, and apple cake with cinnamon and caramel. Bon Appetit and Chag Sameach.

Carrot Ginger Soup with Creamy Apple Chutney

Serves 7

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cups peeled, chopped carrots (about 2 ¼ lbs.)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Optional garnish: crushed red pepper to taste

Creamy Apple Maple Chutney

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted margarine
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup Tofutti sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add apples, onion, carrots, celery, ginger, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring often, for 15 - 17 minutes, until apples have broken down and vegetables are starting to brown.

Add broth, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 - 20 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Puree mixture with an immersion blender, or transfer in batches to a blender and puree. Stir in vinegar and syrup.

For the chutney: In a large skillet, heat margarine over medium heat. When melted add apples and ginger and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add Tofutti sour cream and maple syrup.

To serve: Ladle warm soup into bowls. Spoon in a dollop of chutney into center of each bowl. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, if desired.

Spinach Salad with Sweet Poppy-Seed Dressing

Makes 3 cups, enough for 3 large salads


  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup sliced jicama
  • 2 beets, roasted*
  • 2 persimmon (if seasonal), chopped
  • ½ cup toasted nuts
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup Baco’s, chopped pastrami, or imitation bacon, cooked and chopped, optional
  • Or for dairy version, add feta cheese


  • 1 egg (use pasteurized egg or boil for 30 seconds)
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons grated yellow onion, plus juice from the grating
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons poppyseeds

For the salad: In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together.

For the dressing: Combine egg, vinegar, sugar, grated onion and juice, Dijon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process 1 minute. With motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream. Transfer mixture to a bowl with a lid, and stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

To serve: Pour approximately ¾ cup prepared dressing over salad. Toss and serve immediately.

Make Ahead

Can be prepared 2 weeks ahead of time and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and shake well before using.

Roasted Beets

Preheat oven to 400°F or on convection setting at 375°F. Place beets, cut into equal sized pieces, about ½ inch dice, in a single layer. Toss with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 30 minutes and up to 50 minutes.

Pomegranate Braised Brisket with Three Onion Jam

Serves 8-10

  • 1 (5 - 6 pound) brisket
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup red wine

Three Onion Jam

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pomegranate juice
  • ¾ cup dry red wine or Marsala wine
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

For the brisket: Place the brisket in a large roasting pan. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of the oil, garlic, onion powder, Dijon mustard, paprika, kosher salt and pepper until it forms a paste. Rub paste all over meat on both sides. Let meat rest with spices for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to overnight (two hours is great if possible).

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat remaining oil until shimmering. Brown meat on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. (This adds a crust and a sear, which is flavorful, but this step can be omitted). Place meat back in roasting pan. Put rosemary and thyme around meat. In the small bowl, whisk pomegranate juice, wine, and tomato paste. Pour over meat. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Place covered meat in the oven and cook for 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours (insert a meat thermometer to read doneness. Rare is 134°F, Medium 145°F, and over 160°F is very tough and overcooked, I suggest pulling it for pulled beef)

For the onion jam: In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onions and leeks and cook until softened, about 15 minutes. Add brown sugar, pomegranate juice, wine, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook uncovered, until it comes to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and cook until liquid evaporates and onions are coated and thick with glaze. Stir in pomegranate seeds.

To serve: Slice brisket across the grain. Place sliced brisket with juices on serving platter. Top with three-onion jam.

Maple Apple Almond Torte

Serves 10 – 12


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour (or use regular all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted and cooled
  • 2 large baking apples, like Granny Smith, peeled and diced


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a food processor, process nuts for 20 – 30 seconds, until finely ground. Add flours, baking soda, and salt and pulse to combine.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and syrup until smooth. Gradually beat in margarine. Stir in almond mixture followed by apples. Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 44 minutes, until torte springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool.

Make glaze: In small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, vinegar and cinnamon.

To serve: Run a knife along edge of pan. Remove sides and spread glaze over torte.

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