You need to say the title with the appropriate accent. See, now it makes sense.
One of the traditional side dishes my mom always makes for Rosh Hashanah is Tzimmes. It’s also part of an expression she liked using when I was growing up, “what are you making such a tzimmes out of it!” In other words, what are you making such a fuss/project/big deal out of whatever “it” was at the time. I’m sure it was just me being overly dramatic…it’s a girl thing.
Basically tzimmes is a stew made from sweet root vegetables and dried fruit that is cooked down slowly in a sweet liquid until everything is tender and juicy. Traditionally (at least in my family), it is mostly of carrots, with some parsnip, prunes, raisins and dried apricots. The carrots, cut into rounds like coins, are supposed to represent good fortune.
Me, not that I wouldn’t like some good fortune, I minimize the carrots because frankly I don’t care for them cooked. Blasphemy!
Raw yes, cooked, not so much. I’ve tweaked the recipe over the years and will no doubt continue to do so but for the most part I have subbed out most of the carrots with sweet potato, added apples, figs sautéed onions and some spices.
The veggies and fruit cook in a sweet syrup made of brown sugar and honey. What could be bad? And like my honey cake, I use buckwheat honey in my tzimmes. You can use whatever you have on hand but trust me, this honey adds a richness to the flavor that only the dark rich maltiness of buckwheat honey can provide.
One of the best parts of this recipe is it can be made a day or two ahead and reheated. Just make sure you take it our of the refrigerator at least an hour before you plan to reheat it.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil of choice (I use either canola or safflower)
1 large onion cut into thin half rounds
3 not too thick parsnips, cut into rounds
2 large carrots, cut into rounds
1 large sweet potato cut into chunks
1 3/4 cups water, vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
1/4 cup buckwheat honey (or whatever you have on hand)
1 granny smith apple, pealed, cored and cut into chunks
2 1/2 ounces apricots
4 ounces prunes
4 ounces figs
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large skillet, add the onions and sauté until they are translucent but not browned – approximately 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the carrots and parsnips and sauté about 3- 5 minutes.
4. Add the sweet potato and sauté for another 5 minutes.
5. Pour in the water or broth and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
6. Remove the veggies to the prepared casserole with a slotted spoon.
7. Add the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, ginger and salt to the skillet and return to a boil.
8. Add the apple, apricots, prunes, figs and simmer until the liquid becomes slightly syrupy about 5 minutes.
9. Pour the fruit and liquid carefully over the veggies. Cover with foil and place in the over for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the the veggies are soft.
NOTE: To Reheat, cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven. if you would like to brown the top, for the last 10 minutes of cooking uncover it and sprinkle with a little additional brown sugar.