Jewish by association, I have been blessed to discover Jewish traditions through my husband’s family. And with the Holiday traditions also come the culinary traditions, which I am incredibly excited about. Interestingly, a lot of Jewish Holidays are actually very vegan friendly (when one ignores the brisket side of things ;)) and there are often easy ways to veganize the dishes with a couple small changes.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is coming up this weekend beginning at sundown on Sunday, and right in time, I want to share a delicious recipe for this happy Holiday. Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the creation of Adam and Eve, so basically the birth of human kind; this new year is the start of the Jewish year 5775. To celebrate this joyous occasion, a lot of symbolic foods are consumed. One focus is on sweet foods such as apples, honey (agave or maple syrup for us vegans) and dates. Other symbolic foods are fresh fruit such as pomegranates and the traditional round challah bread (which can be made without eggs), representative for the circle of life.
One dish that I will be making this year, is a sweet couscous that comes with dried fruit, oven roasted tomatoes, scallions as well as hazelnuts (not to be recommended for very traditional Jews, as nuts might in some cases not be considered OK for Rosh Hashanah). The inspiration for my recipe, more specifically the way the tomatoes are prepared, comes from Ottolenghi. Shout out to his creativity and his ‘plantiful’ dishes that are quite easy to veganize 🙂
This recipe serves 5, total time about 2 hours
- 1 cup of couscous
- 4 scallions
- 6 large medjool dates
- 1 cup of dried apricots, soaked for 5 minutes
- 1/2 cup of roasted hazel nuts (just toast them for 3-4 minutes over high heat in a skilled)
- 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
- 1 pinch of tumeric
- 1 pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp of coconut sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 300°
- Cut up the tomatoes length wise, put them on a baking sheet and drizzle some salt and balsamic vinegar on top of them. You can also add some coconut sugar to make them a bit sweeter.
- Put into the oven and roast for about 2 hours
- In the meantime, cut dates and apricots into quarters. Slice up scallions.
- Cook your couscous with the olive oil in the water
- When done, stir tomatoes, dates, apricots, scallions and toasted hazelnuts into couscous. Add salt, pepper and tumeric (for a nice golden color) and serve.