Seven is a significant number. Just ask anyone who looks forward to Shabbat, the seventh day of the week. Seven also represents creation and blessing; in gematria, the Jewish system of assigning numerical value and meaning to letters, the word mazal, or luck, adds up to 77. There are seven wedding blessings, known as sheva brachot. A bride walks seven times around the groom under the chuppah (wedding canopy), and there are seven days of mourning. Don’t forget, walls of Jericho fell after the Israelites circled them seven times.
But that’s not enough, this Rosh Hashanah, we’re getting really pumped for the number seven. When we celebrate starting Sunday evening, Oct. 2, the Hebrew year we mark is 5777. And we thought we’d celebrate our sevens by asking some of our favorite Jewish food bloggers for some suggestions for your holiday table.
The rules: seven ingredients or less. Water, salt, pepper, seasonings and sugar don’t count!
Ronnie Fein has a totally on-topic chicken dish to begin your Rosh Hashanah celebrations. Her roasted cider chicken with apples and honey hits all the holiday flavor notes in one savory and sweet package. Who could ask for anything more?
Need a side to go with it? Try her faro salad with carrots, peas, tomatoes and dill. Farro is a nutty, whole grain that packs a lot of nutritional power. But if you can’t find it, you can always sub barley or bulgar. A big plus? You can make this one ahead of serving time. Another side dish on the super-easy sliding scale is mixed vegetable sauté.
And of course, you’ll want to leave room for dessert. Again, she makes good use of the two famous holiday symbols in these delicious baked apples with raisins, honey, orange and pistachios.
Sandy Leibowitz, of the Kosher Tomato, has some ideas that aren’t necessarily traditional, but are high on tasty. Her zesty chicken with tangy citrus dressing hits all the right notes for a sweet new year, and is beautiful on the plate.
Her carrot, date bars will also help usher in a sweet new year. They just make the cut on the ingredient list, and we like that most of the sweetness comes from the dates, not the brown sugar. L’shanah tovah, u’metukah is right! (a good sweet year)
They also might make a good dish for breaking fast after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Most people serve dairy dishes and lighter fare after a full 25-hours of fasting. Sandy’s crustless spinach, mushroom and cheddar quiche fits the bill. She originally created it to vary up her breakfast eating, but why not offer it for breaking fast? She also suggests that her quinoa, zucchini tuna cakes, which are fried, can be made in advance and eaten at room temperature for Shabbat, so that should work for break fast as well.