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Sweet and Delectable Rosh Hashanah Menu: Entrée to Dessert

August 23, 2021 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

And don't miss my spiced bundt cake with apple caramel drizzle.

Rosh Hashanah's sweet fall flavors are here! I love the seasonal dishes that are synonymous with this time of year, sweet round challahs, apple desserts and symbolic sides. I always try to create menus special for the holiday that are also make-ahead friendly as I like to be in shul for Rosh Hashanah. All of these recipes are delicious even made a few days in advance and some freeze well too.

Chicken with Honey and Roasted Figs

Serves 4, can be doubled

Feel free to substitute apples or prunes for the figs in this recipe. I like sweet figs both in taste and in how they are presented but any dried fruit will work too. This can be made a day or two ahead of time.

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 chicken, cut in 1/8’s
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 10 figs, stems trimmed, halved

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup water, vinegar, and cornstarch. Whisk in honey and set aside. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Brown chicken, skin side down for about 8 minutes. Turnover and brown on the other side for 3 more minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan and return it to moderate heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add cornstarch mixture, oregano, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until mixture bubbles, about 2 minutes and is slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan, skin side up and add figs to pan too. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until figs are soft and chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken with sauce, figs and a sprinkle of fresh oregano or parsley.

Slow Cooked Tongue

Photo by

Serves 6

Admittedly, I only started making tongue when my son-in-law requested it and talked me through his favorite ways to have it. I remember my grandfather bringing it from the east coast to my home in California as a treat, but back then it definitely felt like an adult treat. This slow cooked method yields a soft as butter meat that has super rich flavors. It’s so easy and anyone can master this.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 beef tongue
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, or more to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • water to cover

Place oil on the bottom of a Dutch oven. Place beef tongue in a pot and top with onion, garlic, bay leaf, red wine and thyme. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Pour in enough water to just cover the beef mixture.

Turn on the stove and cook, covered on low flame for 6-8 hours.

Transfer beef tongue to a work surface and cool slightly. Peel outer layer of skin from beef tongue before serving.

Rainbow Roasted Carrots with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds


Serves 4 - 6

Roasted vegetables topped with tahini and pomegranate seeds have become my go-to, totally trendy, absolutely stunning, and delicious side dish. For Rosh Hashanah, I usually use colorful, artisanal carrots, but butternut squash or cauliflower work well too.

  • 2 bags rainbow carrots peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pomegranate seeds and parsley, for garnish
  • Lemon-Tahini Sauce
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon warm water
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a large baking sheet place rainbow carrots and sprinkle with olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper. Roast 20 - 30 minutes or until slightly charred.

For the tahini sauce: Place all ingredients in a bowl. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth.

Once ready to serve drizzle with tahini sauce, pomegranate seeds and parsley.


The tahini sauce will thicken slightly when refrigerated. Allow it to come back to room temperature, or add an ice cube to thin until desired consistency.

Rosh Hashanah Farro Salad with Apples and Herbs

Peaches instead of apples in the photo.

Serves 6

This is a great side dish for Yom Tov or any other time of year. Sweet and savory, make-ahead friendly and bright and beautiful.

  • 1 ½ cups farro
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 apples, like Granny Smith, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-in.-wide wedges (peaches or other fruit work well too)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the farro: Combine 1 qt. water, the farro, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt in a 4-qt. saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until farro is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain farro and dry for at least 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, parsley and thyme, and toss to combine.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place apples on a large rimmed baking sheet with low-sides. Toss apples with 1 tablespoon of oil and ¼ teaspoon salt and sugar. Bake until golden brown and caramelized, about 11 minutes.

Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey, shallot, and salt. Whisk in oil in a thin stream. Pour over the farro mixture and toss well to coat.

To serve, mix farro, with apples with any cooking juices and dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Spiced Bundt Cake with Apple Caramel Drizzle

Serves 12

Make this a day ahead of time, it gets better and the flavors meld with a little time. The spices and the caramel pair perfectly together. It’s a wonderful fall cake and the aroma will transport you into the Yom Tov spirit.

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup fresh apple cider
  • ¼ cup pareve whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups slivered almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup pareve soy milk or non-dairy creamer

Caramel sauce

Combine sugar, cream of tartar, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring and occasionally swirling pan for even cooking, until mixture turns a dark amber color. Remove from heat; slowly add apple cider, pareve cream, vinegar, vanilla, and salt (mixture will bubble vigorously), whisking to combine. Return the pan to medium heat and bring to a vigorous boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring to dissolve any caramel bits, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Set aside. Caramel sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm slightly before using.


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously coat the Bundt pan with nonstick spray. Place margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add vanilla extract. Cook, stirring often, until margarine is foamy, then browns (do not burn), about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and chill slightly.

Pulse flour and almonds in a food processor until almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in baking powder and the next 7 ingredients; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cooled margarine, brown sugar, sugar, and ¾ cup powdered sugar in a large bowl, frequently scraping down sides and bottom of bowl and beaters, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in lemon zest. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, beating to blend between additions; beat mixture until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low. Add half of the dry ingredients; mix until almost blended. Add soymilk and mix until almost blended. Add remaining dry ingredients; mix until batter is blended and smooth. Scrape into the prepared pan. Tap the pan gently on the counter to even out.

Bake until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake is dark golden brown and has begun pulling from the sides of the pan, 65–70 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack. Let the cake cool in the pan for 25 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Dust cake lightly with powdered sugar. Drizzle caramel sauce over cake, allowing it to drip down sides and into grooves and crevices. Serve remaining sauce alongside.

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