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Cooking with Apples and Honey for Rosh Hashanah

August 29, 2021 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Sweet and savory recipes to add to your holiday menus.

Rosh Hashanah spurs my creative juices to come up with new recipes with apples and honey. The sweet variety is more common, but savory dishes are a nice way to include these symbolic foods too. Of course we want to welcome in a sweet new year but balancing the flavors through your holiday menus adds great depth and variety to your palate. These recipes create an umami experience combining both sweet and savory.

Apple, Beet and Crunch Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

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Original recipe by food and wine magazine, adapted by GKC

Serves 6 to 8

Sweet apples and beets combined with crunchy nuts or ramen and a savory lemon-miso vinaigrette are the perfect pairing of sweet and savory. I make this year round and use any seasonal fruit. Miso is found in your national supermarket with a hecksher. I usually buy the milder white miso but brown or red can be used interchangeably too.

For the vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced or mashed
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)

For the salad

  • 1 lb. trimmed medium beets (I use the cooked beets in the vacuum packs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. arugula or mixed baby greens (8 packed cups)
  • 2 crisp apples, such as Gala, Crispin, or Granny Smith, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup toasted ramen or nuts of your choice, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the rice vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, and garlic; let sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the miso, and then slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Stir in the hot sauce, if using.

For the salad: In a 2- to 3-quart pot, simmer the beets in water to cover until crisp-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle, and then peel or use the cooked beets in vacuum packs. Halve and thinly slice. Arrange on a platter or salad plates and lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the arugula and apples, and season with salt and pepper. Toss with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.

Mound the greens and apples on top of the beets, sprinkle with the ramen/nuts and dill, and serve.

Five Spice Chicken with Apples and Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6

Chinese Five Spice is a great flavor blend that is available with a kosher hecksher in national supermarkets. It's usually a combination of cinnamon, pepper, fennel, star anise, and cloves, so both sweet and savory.

  • 1 small fennel bulb, cut fennel bulb into wedges
  • ¾ pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-in. slices
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/3-in.-wide slices
  • 2 large firm-tart apples, such as Granny Smith, unpeeled, sliced into 1/4-in. wedges
  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or pieces (2 3/4 lbs. total)
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Chinese five-spice

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Oil a large rimmed baking sheet and arrange sweet potatoes and fennel in a single layer. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Arrange onion and apples over potatoes and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set chicken on top. In a small bowl, combine margarine, honey, five-spice, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Brush onto chicken.

Roast for 15 minutes, and baste ingredients with juices. Continue to roast until chicken is nicely browned, 15 to 30 minutes more. Baste a few times while cooking. Serve with fennel, sweet potatoes and pan juices.

Apple and Orange Soy Glazed Short Ribs

Photo by women and

Serves 4, can be doubled

Short ribs are best made a few days ahead of time. Skim the fat and rewarm gently or freeze and defrost before serving. Apples add sweetness and the wine tenderizes the meat.

  • ½ apple (skin on), cored, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 1½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 pounds ¼”-thick cross-cut bone-in beef short ribs (flanken style)
  • Vegetable oil (for grilling)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pulse apple, garlic, marmalade, brown sugar, sesame oil, white wine, and pepper in a food processor or blender until garlic and apple are finely chopped. Add soy sauce and puree.

Transfer to a large dish, add ribs and turn to coat. Let sit, massaging meat and turning occasionally. Cover tightly with foil and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Bake for 1 ½ hours covered. Uncover for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Cool and skim fat. Rewarm and serve with sauce.

Can be frozen. Defrost in the refrigerator and rewarm before serving.

Roasted Fall Vegetables with Lentils and Fall Spices

Serves 6

Warm Indian flavors make this an ideal nice recipe that is comforting, filling and full of flavor. Don’t be afraid of the new ingredients or the longer list of steps, it comes together quickly and has tons of complex seasonings that are so flavorful.

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, half finely chopped, half cut into 1-in. chunks
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons garam masala, divided (spice blend available in national markets)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed (or use Gefen precooked lentils in the bag, drained)
  • About 3 cups vegetable broth
  • About 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-in. chunks
  • 1/2 pound small brussels sprouts, sliced or shredded
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a 5- to 6-qt. pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots, and chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of garam masala and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add thyme and 1 teaspoon mustard; cook for 1 minute.

Stir in lentils, 3 cups broth, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 40 minutes, checking occasionally and adding more broth if needed so they’re covered in liquid. (If using precooked lentils, just add to the onion mixture and continue below, adding salt and pepper to taste).

Meanwhile, in a 9- by 13-in. baking dish, whisk together honey; 1/2 teaspoon salt; and remaining 4 tablespoons oil, 2 1/2 teaspoons garam masala, and 1 teaspoon mustard. Add squash and toss until well coated. Roast squash for 15 minutes. Stir in onion chunks and brussel sprouts and cook until vegetables are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 15 to 20 more minutes.

Drain any excess liquid from lentils. Stir in orange juice and transfer lentils to a shallow bowl. Spoon roasted vegetables on top, and season to taste with more salt

Coffee Cake with Apple Cocoa Swirl and Streusel Topping

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  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) chilled unsalted margarine, cut into ½” pieces, or canola oil

Apple Filling

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped apples (peeled)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted nuts, optional


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted margarine, room temperature, plus more
  • 2 cups flour, plus more
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Tofutti sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the streusel: Combine sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Work in margarine with your fingers until the mixture holds together when pinched but is still crumbly; cover and chill.

For the apple filling: In a small skillet, cook apples, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons water over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the pan is almost dry and the apples are coated in syrup, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Toss in cocoa and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Add nuts, If using.

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9 inch springform pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper; grease parchment.

Whisk baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and ½ cup margarine until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in Tofutti sour cream and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle apple filling over; top with remaining batter, then streusel.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45–55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool before unmolding.

Tip: This cake is best made a day or two ahead of time. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Click here for more delicious recipes for the High Holy Days.

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