Happy New Year to my Jewish friends and family! I hope you are drowning yourselves in honey cakes and apples and whatever else you usually like to have. I was reading the Huffington Post the other morning, and they had some suggestions for great recipes for your celebration, and um, one of them was a bacon thing. Love bacon as I do, I think I can perhaps provide a better guide. Seriously, aren’t they headquartered in New York? Couldn’t they just go outside and ask anyone?
It’s just me this year, so I didn’t want to make a ton of stuff I couldn’t eat alone, and I came up with this very, very traditional Rosh Hashanah panzanella. I’m not going to lie: this came out better than I had dreamed, and I had pretty high hopes. Everybody knows it ain’t trickin’ if you got it, okay?
A word to the wise: panzanella does. not. keep. Either plan to eat this the day you make it, or keep the component parts separate until you’re ready to nosh.
Here’s what you need:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 big carrots, peeled and cubed
1 cup of baby potatoes, cubed
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced or smashed
a thumb-sized knob of ginger, peeled and diced very small
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
5-8 slices of bread, cubed (I used challah to really hit all the high points, but you can use a whole grain bread if you want. Deb’s recipe is best!)
5-6 cups of salad greens (I dig arugula, but they were out at the grocery, and spinach or a salad mix is great, too)
1/3 cup of hazelnuts, toasted
1 recipe of pomegranate-honey dressing (following!)
Preheat your oven to 375 while you chop and peel.
Mix up the olive oil, cinnamon, garlic, chili powder, ginger, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Spread the root veggies out over a cookie sheet, and then pour half the olive oil mixture over it and mix with your hands. Get everything in the oven in a single layer, and cook it for 20-30 minutes, tossing once.
Pull that out of the oven, add the apples and the rest of that fancy gingery garlicky oil, and put it back in for another 20-30 minutes, tossing once about midway through.
While you’re doing that, cube your bread, and put it on another cookie sheet. You can spray it with a little olive oil if you want, but I don’t know that that is necessary. For the last 10 minutes of cook time with the root vegetables and apples, pop the bread in, too.
Take this time to make your salad dressing and toast your hazelnuts. For this, you will need:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper in whatever increments you want
pinch of nutmeg
This is easy: mix everything but the olive oil together until everything is incorporated. Pour the oil in slowly, slowly, slowly so it incorporates nicely. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.
Okay, so pull everything out of the oven and let it cool down for a minute or two. Set the table, do some dishes, take out the garbage– that is the amount of time I’m talking. Divide the greens into several bowls, then divide the root veggies, then the bread and toss to combine. Let people figure out how much salad dressing they want, and top with hazelnuts. While I was making this, I thought it might be nice with a little bit of shaved Parmesan or some pomegranate arils, so that could be a fun thing if you’re into that.
Please enjoy your holiday! Do you have anything special you make this time of year, whether it’s for Rosh Hashanah or the first apple crop or anything autumnal? Let me know!