Creative Rosh Hashanah Cuisine

September 7, 2017

7 min read


Spice up your new year with these delectable dishes.

Moroccan Fish Fillet with Vegetable

Rosh Hashanah cuisine is very special and full of symbolism. As part of the Simanim (symbols) on Rosh Hashanah, we serve a fish head as a symbol of abundance and fertility for the coming New Year.

Moroccan flavors are a favorite in many homes. Specialty fish store sell a special Moroccan spice mix that can be used to spice fish steaks or salmon fillets. It keeps well in a container in the refrigerator for many weeks. This fish recipe seems to have many ingredients but the result is well worthwhile.


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbs ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • 4 6-ounce white fish or fillets
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 24 brine-cured olives (such as Kalamata)
  • Additional chopped fresh Italian parsley


Mix first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Add fish and turn to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange carrot slices over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Layer half of tomatoes, half of onion and half of lemon over. Season with half of salt and pepper.

Drain marinade from fish; reserve marinade. Arrange fish atop lemon slices. Top fish with remaining tomato, onion and lemon slices. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Top decoratively with red pepper strips and olives. Pour reserved marinade over. Cover dish with foil. Bake 40 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 400°F. and bake until fish flakes easily and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Garnish with additionally parsley.

Preparation 20 minutes
Serves 4

Comforting Classic Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls

Classic Comforting Chicken soup is traditionally served at every Yom Tov meal, but nothing wrong with being a bit creative and perking up our chicken soup with some innovative ideas. Try using some rice, egg or rice noodles or even chicken meatballs to add some interest to your all-time favorite.


  • 1 chicken, at least 3-4 pounds, cut up into 8 or 9 pieces + 1 carcass
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bunch of parsley
  • 4 stalks celery cut in half
  • 4 carrots cut in chunks
  • 1 Spanish onions diced
  • 2 or 3 parsnips (optional)
  • Lots of water


Put cleaned chicken in the bottom of an 8 quart pot. Cover the chicken with water and add salt. Your pot should be less than two-thirds full.

Bring to a full boil over high heat. Skim off any foam that may develop with a slotted spoon and discard.

Add salt and pepper and all the chopped up vegetables. Lower the flame and simmer for 3 hours for a very strong and flavorful soup. Add extra water as needed to keep the pot constantly around two-thirds full.

Adjust the seasonings. Then add the matzah balls and cook for another twenty minutes covered. Recipe follows

The soup will be delicious its first day - and better the next. Store any leftover soup in the refrigerator. I store it right in the pot.

For a creative version of chicken soup add ½ cup of rice instead of the matzah balls, for a very flavorful soup. Alternatively you can cook up some thin noodles or rice noodles and add to each plate as you serve.

Matzoh Balls


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup matzoh meal (Add ¼ cup more if you like them hard; use ¼ cup less for airy balls).
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup of chicken soup


Beat the eggs slightly and then add the oil. Mix well.

Add the matzoh meal, salt and soup stock. Combine well.

Refrigerate for ½ hour or more.

About 45 minutes before the soup is to be served, form little matzoh balls and drop them into the pot of boiling water. Keep the pot covered as the matzoh balls cook, and turn them a couple of times.

Preparation 10 minute
Makes 16 small balls or 12 larger ones.

Flavorful Chicken Stew with Apples and Carrots

It is customary to eat carrots and apples as part of the special foods we eat to convey our desire for a good omen for the New Year, this recipe combines the apples, carrots and pomegranates which will all ensure us a sweet New Year.


  • 2 lb. carrots
  • 2 green apples sliced
  • 8 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds total)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin (optional)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ c. pomegranate arils
  • ¼ c. sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1 package couscous


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place carrots and apples in a 5-quart Dutch oven or ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid, adding 1 cup water. In a bowl, toss together chicken, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover, and bake until chicken is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and carrots to a dish (remove cinnamon stick); top with pomegranate arils and almonds. Season cooking liquid with salt and pepper; spoon over chicken. Serve with couscous, if desired.

Preparation 20 minutes
Serves 8

Original Cole Slaw

Cole slaw is a winner when it comes to salads, Refreshing and tasty, easy to prepare and great accompaniment for most meals. I always have a bucket of coleslaw in my refrigerator ready to serve anytime.


  • 1 medium-sized head green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbs diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1 Tbs sugar (optional) or raisins
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and onion; mix well and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour over the cabbage mixture; toss to coat well. Cover and chill for at least one hour or until ready to serve.

Preparation 5 minutes
Serves 8

Amazin' Apple Cake

What is Rosh Hashanah without a tasty apple cake? Prepare this in advance and freeze, in preparation for Yom Tov which is around the corner.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat eggs and 1/3 cup brown sugar until creamy. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and apple juice mix well. Gently stir in half the apples until evenly coated. Pour batter into cake pan. Arrange remaining apple slices over batter in a circle. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Preparation 20 minutes
Serves 8

Simple Apple Zucchini Muffins

One way to include more veggies into your diet is to stick them in everything, including your desserts! Our Apple Zucchini Muffins are moist, delicious, and much healthier than pre-packaged muffins. At least you are sure of the ingredients.


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup grated Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (drain thoroughly before mixing into batter)
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips or craisins (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat margarine and sugar until creamy. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in apples, apple juice and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and beat just until moistened. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips, if desired.

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Preparation 20 minutes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Next Steps