Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 1 hour | Cooling Time: 15 mins
These honey roasted carrots topped with dates, pomegranate seeds, tehina and pistachios are ideal for Rosh Hashana, as they contain three of the Simanim, the symbolic foods eaten at the New Year.
The Hebrew for carrot, ‘Gezer’, is close to the Hebrew for decree, ‘Gezerah’. By partaking of carrots at Rosh Hashana, we ask that Hashem decrees only good for us in the year ahead. The Yiddish word for carrot, ‘mehr’, also means ‘more’ or ‘increase’, and we hope for a plentiful number of merits and blessings, as we do when we eat the pomegranate seeds strewn across this dish.
You can use any carrots you want for this recipe. If you can find rainbow heritage carrots, these will look fantastic. However, regular carrots cut into thick batons will look and taste every bit as delicious.
*A Note on nuts:
There is an Ashkenazi custom not to eat nuts at Rosh Hashana. The eminent Polish Talmudist Rabbi Moses Isserles (Rema) states that one should refrain from eating nuts because the gematria (numerical value) for the hebrew word אגוז (egoz), meaning nuts, is close to the gematria for the word חטא (chet) meaning sin, and We should be careful to avoid anything to do with sin at this time of year.
Rabbi Yaakov ben Moshe Levi Moelin (Maharil), best known for his codification of the customs of the German Jews, cites the reason that nuts cause an increase in saliva which can interfere with clear enunciation of one’s prayers.
- 6+ Carrots
- 4 Dates roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Pomegranate Seeds
- 1 – 2 tbsp Pistachios* (optional) OR 2 tsp of Za’atar
- 1½ tsp Olive Oil
- 8 tbsp Tahini Paste
- Juice of half a Lemon
- 100ml Water
- Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F)
- Place carrots in a roasting dish and coat with the olive oil and honey, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast for 1 hour, mixing halfway through.
They should be roasted but still retain some bite.
- Remove carrots from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your tehina dressing by vigorously mixing together the tahini paste, lemon juice and water and seasoning with a little salt and pepper.
- Roughly chop the pitted dates and shelled pistachio kernels (if using – see note below). If you keep the custom of not eating nuts at Rosh Hashanah, you can substitute za’atar seasoning
- Plate your carrots, and drizzle with tehina dressing, pomegranate seeds, chopped dates and either chopped pistachios or za’atar.
(Image Credit: Sophy Weiss Photography)