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Rosh Hashanah Meals: Let’s Get Started

September 10, 2019 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

These recipes are the perfect twist on classic dishes to bring in the new year.

Fall Yom Tov cooking is my favorite holiday to prepare for. Not only are the seasonal ingredients vibrant in color but they are at their peak for flavor. Yes, there are lots of meals to cook for but the options are endless. The flavors of all are aromatic, warm and delicious. Fresh seasonal apples, dried fruits and squash make for some of the simplest yet perfect fall dishes. These recipes are the perfect twist on classic dishes to bring in the new year. Many can be made in advance and placed in the freezer to save time and even doubled to save for Sukkot too. May your year be blessed and filled with sweetness in every way!

Apple Sweetened & Marinated Short Ribs

Photo by

Serves 6

Sweet, sticky and delicious! Fall off the bone sticky ribs are always a family and fan favorite. My kids look forward to our “Rosh Hashanah” ribs all year. I like to serve them with mashed potatoes. Start this recipe the night before or at least a few hours ahead of cooking time to allow for marinating. These freeze well and can be made days ahead of time.


  • 1 1/4 cups apple juice
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup miso (available in national markets with a hecksher, I use white miso)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

In a resealable large bag, combine the apple juice, soy sauce, lemon juice, scallions, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Add the short ribs, seal the bag and shake to coat ribs well and massage marinade into the ribs. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

In a small skillet, heat the canola oil. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly golden and softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool slightly.

In a blender or food processor, combine the cooked shallots with the garlic, scallions, miso, chili garlic sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar and process to a smooth puree. Season the sauce with salt and transfer to a small bowl.

Remove ribs from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place ribs in a baking pan and pour sauce on top of ribs. Cover tightly. Cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Serve the ribs with the sauce.

These ribs freeze well. Cool, cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator, skim fat, and rewarm gently. Serve ribs warm with pan sauce.

Fall Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Pistachios and Cranberries

Photo by

Serves 8

This salad screams fall. The texture and flavor are delicious and the bright orange squash and red cranberries make the perfect pop of color! This can be made a few days in advance, it gets better as it sits. Feel free to omit the pistachios if you do not eat them or if anyone has nut allergies.

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3-4 cups cubed squash)
  • 3½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1½ cups farro
  • Juice of 1½ lemons
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the butternut squash cubes on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1½ tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add kosher salt and cayenne pepper and toss to combine, making sure each cube is coated. Roast the squash for 25-35 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking time, until squash is tender and lightly browned. Set aside and let cool slightly.

While squash is roasting, cook the farro according to the package directions. You want the farro to be chewy, but still hold its shape (for most farro that means bringing 1 ½ cups farro and 3 cups water with a pinch of salt to a boil, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until the farro is cooked but still chewy, drain water).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, and maple syrup. Add the cooked farro to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Add the roasted butternut squash, pistachios, cranberries and scallions and gently fold all the ingredients together. Taste and season with freshly ground pepper and a little extra salt (if needed).

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Balsamic and Honey Sweetened Beets and Onion Salad with Mixed Greens, Pastrami and Apples

Serves 8

The contrast of sweet vegetables and tangy dressing make this salad a perfect Yom Tov salad. The flavors are fresh and the ingredients are seasonal. Nothing is better than that! Picture shows walnuts, but traditionally we do not eat walnuts on Rosh Hashanah.

  • 1 pound red or yellow beets, cooked and sliced into half moons
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup pastrami cubes or smoked turkey cubes, optional
  • 1 Gala apple (about 8 oz.), thinly sliced
  • 3 cups firmly packed baby arugula
  • 3 cups loosely packed mixed green

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place beets in a single layer on a low-sided baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, and a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 25-35 minutes until cooked through and caramelized.

Stir together balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, honey and salt plus 2 tablespoons water; and pour into a large zip-top plastic bag. Add cooked beets and onions. Seal and chill 4 hours.
Drain beets and onion, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Discard remaining liquid. Whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and reserved 1/3 cup pickling liquid until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large salad bowl, toss greens, cubed meat, apples, beets and onions. Add dressing, toss and serve.

Braised Chicken with Dates and Moroccan Spices

Photo by kiyoshi togashi

Serves 6

Super simple, and full flavored chicken recipes are a winner. This became part of my Yom Tov repertoire a few years ago because it’s delicious, easy and freezes well. The flavors give the chicken a real pow! Serve with rice or couscous.

  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds shallots (about 11 large), peeled
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 12 dates, pitted, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and flour. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet or platter; repeat with remaining chicken. Reduce heat to medium high. Add shallots to pan; sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add broth and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until shallots begin to soften, about 18 minutes. Place chicken pieces atop shallots in pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until juices run clear, about 25 minutes.

Transfer chicken and shallots to platter; tent with foil. Boil juices in pot until slightly thickened. Stir in dates and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently until dates are heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce and dates over chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

Cinnamon Bun Apple Pie

Serves 10-12

When it comes to Shabbos desserts I make fairly simple recipes. They are delicious but I don’t set aside the time to make something more decadent. For holidays though, I prefer to amp up my desserts and follow the theme of the holiday. Cinnamon and apple desserts usually dominate our Rosh Hashana. This dessert is unique, and with a good cheat method, easy to make by using store bought pie dough and most definitely worth every calorie!

  • (14 .5-ounce) box store-bought pie dough or homemade pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ⅛ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 5 assorted baking apples (about 2 pounds)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk, plus more if needed

Serve with non-dairy ice cream

Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 piece of dough; refrigerate until ready to assemble.

For cinnamon-roll crust: Lay remaining piece of dough on a lightly floured surface and spread margarine evenly on top. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over margarine, and press gently to help mixture adhere. Roll pie dough into a tight log. Trim about 1 ½ inches from both ends; cut remaining log crosswise into ½ -inch-thick pieces. Arrange pieces cut-side down in a snug circle on a piece of floured parchment paper. Dust with more flour. Place a piece of parchment on top and gently roll it into a 10-inch round. Refrigerate until ready to assemble pie.

Place baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400°F (this will help the crust brown).

For the filling: Peel and slice apples. Toss with lemon juice, vanilla and remaining ¼ cup sugar and ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon in large bowl. Pour apples into the dough-lined pie plate. Invert cinnamon-roll crust on top and peel off the parchment (it’s OK if the individual rounds separate a bit in the process). Pinch crusts together; Brush with beaten egg.

Set pie on hot baking sheet in the oven; bake until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 50 minutes. (Tent loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.) Transfer to a rack to cool slightly.

Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and soy milk in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the pie.

Serve warm or at room temperature with non-dairy ice cream.

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