Tzimmes is a dish of root vegetables and dried fruit. Traditionally it is made with honey and served on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Honey is frequently used Rosh Hashanah dishes to symbolize a sweet and happy year. With Rosh Hashanah just over a week away, it seemed like a timely dish to cook up.
Many tzimmes recipes call for being stewed on the stove; others are roasted in the oven. The majority of recipes call for carrots, sweet potatoes, and prunes. Generally they are sauced with orange juice, sweetener, and maybe a bit of cinnamon. The result is very sweet. Sometimes potatoes or other root vegetables may be added; they tend to break up the sweetness a bit. Occasionally tzimmes is made as a meat dish, but generally it is vegetarian and served as a side.
I enjoy stewed tzimmes, but it risks being mushy and over sweet. It can also be very uniform, like most stews. In this recipe, I’ve roasted the the vegetables in the oven. This produces a lovely caramelization of the prunes and prevents the vegetables from getting too soft. I also added some yellow beets, mostly because they just looked so pretty, but also for flavor.
I chose to spice this up a bit with mustard, turmeric, and cinnamon. Other than the cinnamon, these are not traditional flavors, but they add a nice depth and cut the sweetness, making the tzimmes more savory. It is still sweetened, though with rice syrup instead of honey. You could certainly use agave syrup or even brown sugar, but I happen to like the flavor of rice syrup. (I find the texture is also much closer to honey, although that doesn’t matter at all in this recipe.)
This is a particularly good side dish for my vegan noodle kugel for your Rosh Hashanah meal. But it is equally good for an everyday side dish, maybe with some chickpea nuggets? This reheats well for tomorrow’s lunch, too.
- 2 medium orange sweet potatoes
- 1 bunch yellow beets
- ½ bunch carrots
- ½ c prunes
- ½ c orange juice
- ¼ c brown rice syrup
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel veggies and slice into ¼ inch rounds. Cut the beet and sweet potato slices further into halves or quarters. You want small pieces for roasting. Cut the prunes in half. Add ingredients to a 13 x 9 baking pan.
- Mix the orange juice, brown rice syrup, melted butter, and spices together in a small bowl. Pour over veggies and stir to coat.
- Cover the pan with tin foil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 stirring every 15 minutes. After 45 minutes, test for doneness. Vegetables should be soft when pierced with a fork and starting to brown. If vegetables are not yet done, cook for 5-15 minutes more, checking frequently to prevent burning.