Means & Greens Salad
A ROSH HASHANAH MEAL WITH MEANING! There are five foods the Talmud says we should eat on Rosh Hashanah to ensure a year of good fortune: gourds, black-eyed peas, leeks, beets, and dates. These foods all have names that are a play on words for a particular wish for the new year: For example, the Hebrew word for dates is tamar, which sounds like yitamu, which means ‘to be removed’—as in, remove our foes from our midst.
With these auspicious ingredients in mind I’ve put together a Rosh Hashanah all-in-one salad sure to start the year off right. I’ve added a few familiar symbolic flavors as well, because you can’t have too much of a good (and delicious) thing. On Rosh Hashanah, it is customary for the Sephardic Jews to begin the meal with blessings for each of the symbolic foods. Traditionally Eddie's family follows this custom and the blessings have always been integrated into our festive meals. Instead of passing each bowl around the table I thought to combine the ingredients into one salad. The salad was devoured by my Ashkenazi family (the Sephardic side is yet to try it!), every morsel eaten! I will repeat this salad every year on Rosh Hashanah and make it throughout the year. Just to note, it is times consuming prepping all the items, but well worth the effort! We love it!
Serves : 25 people as a side
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 large leeks, thinly chopped
15 ounces black-eyed peas, fresh or 1 can drained
15 ounces spinach leaves, julienned
1 cup squash, roasted and cubed
1 cup beets, roasted and chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup dates, pitted, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
red chili peppers, sprinkle as desired
1 teaspoon salt
1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Deseed squash and cut into ½ inch cubes. Peel beets and chop into ½ inch pieces. Separately toss with squash and beets with olive oil and place on same roasting pan for approx. 20 minutes until squash begins to turn golden. Set aside and cool.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped leeks and garlic, sauté until the leeks are golden around edges. Add black eyed peas to leeks during the last minutes of cooking. Set aside and cool.
3. In a large bowl, add julienned spinach leaves and top with leek mixture, squash, beets, red onions, pomegranate seeds and dates. Arrange to make a colorful and appealing presentation.
4. Combine dressing and drizzle over salad ingredients. Sprinkle black and white sesame seeds over top.