Slicing up some Granny Smiths and dipping them in honey simply won't cut it.
Whether you’re eating apples and honey to bring on a sweet new year, to connect with tradition, or just because they taste so good together, this combo belongs on your Rosh Hashanah menu. And if you’re extra at your core, like me, slicing up some Granny Smiths and drizzling them with whatever’s left in that plastic bear you’ve had in your pantry for two years simply won’t cut it. Apples and honey are such versatile ingredients, they can play both sides of sweet and savory. So why not incorporate them into your entire meal? Here’s an easy guide to bringing some extra sweetness to your Rosh Hashanah feast.
Dress to Impress
Three words: apple cider vinegar. It’s a great base for any type of vinaigrette, and when you add minced shallots and honey, you’re golden. You make this dressing all year round anyway, so why not have it on hand for this menu? I love pairing it with earthy spinach, like this number topped with roasted sunchokes.
Roast with the Most
You’re probably going to be roasting some vegetables to accompany your main dish, so allow me to wax poetic for a minute about adding honey to the mix. As you blast vegetables at a high heat in the oven, the sugars begin to caramelize, adding complexity and depth. A little bit of honey goes a long way here, helping your veggies get even more golden and crisp when roasting. In the name of this themed meal, try adding apples that can hold up to roasting—like Gala—to butternut squash and fennel for a stellar side.
Braise the Roof
In lieu of stock, I’m going to be braising everything from poultry to brisket in apple cider. Sweet and acidic, it’s the perfect balance to the punch of umami you’ll get from braised meats, especially after it's absorbed flavor from aromatics like sautéed onions and thyme. This year, I’ll be tackling this tender, braised duck recipe. (There’s a little bit of pork in it, but I won’t tell my rabbi if you don’t. And you can also leave it out.)
Galette’s Get On It
Honey cake is a staple for Rosh Hashanah, so I challenge you to make something else for the holiday this year. While you can certainly make regular ol’ apple pie, I’m team galette—one of my favorite free-form vessels for tender, ripe fruit. And you better believe the apples are getting drizzled with wildflower honey before hitting the oven.
Get in the Spirit
Let’s be real: Entertaining can be stressful, family can be stressful, and entertaining family can be very stressful. So a spirited beverage is highly encouraged. Whether you're spiking your apple cider or breaking out the apple brandy for a hot toddy sweetened with honey syrup, drinking good wishes for the upcoming year has never been easier. Since an early Rosh Hashanah with an Indian summer is going to prevent the holiday from feeling very fall, we’re swiping out cozy hot cocktail for something fruity, playing off the floral notes of honey.
Cheers to a sweet new year and to hoping you have one hell of a sugar Rosh.