In planning your Rosh HaShanah menu, consider it a fun challenge to incorporate symbolic foods associated with good omens. While the Talmud mentions five (gourds, fenugreek, leeks, beet greens or chard and dates) Ashkenazim eat apples dipped in honey, seeds of all kinds and pomegranate arils. Sephardim may incorporate leeks and quince while Italians eat pumpkins and gourds. We’ll skip the heads of fish although many still serve fish as a starting course.
This raw salad is loaded with color and positive omens. It’s a bonus that it’s a cinch to throw together.Rainbow hues and crisp textures combine perfectly in this symbolic salad created to bring positive omens to your Rosh HaShanah table.
Incorporate these ingredients loaded with positive energy:
Beets: safety and separation from our enemies
Apples: inclusion of the divine presence
Dates: symbol of beauty and strength
Pomegranate arils : fertility and love of mitzvot
Honey: immortality, truth and sweetness (absence of negativity)
Seeds or nuts: fertility or plenty
Crisp Autumn Salad Loaded with Symbolism
pareve salad; make it vegan by substituting agave for honey
- 1 medium kohlrabi
- 7 medium carrots
- 2 medium beets
- 3 tart apples (green preferred as tart is important here)
- 10 dried dates
- 4 Tb. pomegranate arils
- 2 Tb. sesame seeds
- ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 4-5 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons local honey
- ½ teaspoon salt and a few cracks of pepper (or more to taste)
- Peel all vegetables and apples. Using the shredder disc of food processor, grate kohlrabi, carrots, apples and beets. Place in a large mixing bowl.
- Slice dates lengthwise into 4 slivers.
- Whisk all ingredients for dressing.
- Toss veggies, apples and dates with dressing. Top salad with pomegranate arils, sesame seeds and chopped mint.
- This salad may be made one day in advance. If doing so, layer grated apples underneath carrots and kohlrabi to keep the apples from turning brown. Place grated beets in a separate bowl to keep other veggies from turning bright pink.
- Keep dates, pomegranate arils, sesame seeds and herbs in separate containers and toss with salad ingredients and dressing at last minute.
- Dressing may be made in advance and stored in a jar in the refrigerator.
- Once salad is assembled it may be served for 2-3 days. It will be equally delicious but less crisp.
- Use shredding disc of food processor to make quick work of grating.
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Liz Rueven is Founding Editor of www.kosherlikeme.com, a food blog and resource for those who love to cook seasonally. Liz has made numerous appearances on WTNH TV, sharing her passion for all things local and Jewish. In 2017, she received the Gil Marks Memorial Award, a peer nominated recognition of her as a mentor and a support for others in the Jewish culinary world. She is a board member of the Westport Farmers Market in CT, a passionate cooking instructor and irrepressible locavore.