What? Seders are for Passover, you say? Actually, there is a Seder for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, as well. It centers around the eating of symbolic foods, the simanim, which act as omens to ensure prosperity, sweetness, and, critically, the thwarting of all our enemies this new year.
The seder is traditionally conducted and the simanim eaten at the beginning of the holiday meal. But, I thought: What if these foods were not just consumed in a ritualistic manner, but formed the driving force behind the holiday menu itself?
The simanim are: dates, pomegranates, pumpkin, leeks, carrots, fish, fish head, black-eyed peas, beets, and apples. And below is what I plan to do with them. As you can see, these simanim impart not only a richness and depth, but also a grounding in local, seasonal cuisine. Our ancestors in their great wisdom selected foods imbued with creative symbolism and blessings, and also those that were readily available at the time of the holiday.
So, this menu communicates my wish for us all for a new year filled with meaningful inspiration, the invention of new possibilities -- and their practical and delicious achievement, all at the right place and time.
Wishing you a Shanah Tovah U'Metukah - A sweet and happy new year!
Round Raisin Challah
Fish Head and carrot consommé with potato-ginger kreplach
Fried leeks croquettes, beets and chevre, pumpkin and pepitas coulis
Seared monkfish, black-eyed peas with dates, pomegranate mint walnut sauce
Roasted apples stuffed with cranberries dripping with honey thyme and drizzled with honey mascarpone
FED: Rosh Hashanah will take place Monday, October 3 at 7pm. Sign up here!