With the month of Shevat here, and Tu B’Shevat soon to come, we will take a look at some different ways to serve fruits; included are two delicious salads and two dessert-type ideas for you to try out. I’ve included some of the fruits of the Seven Species of Fruits of Israel in each one such as raisins, dates and pomegranates. These recipes are all colorful, trans-fat free, and lower in sugar than many of their counterparts.
Fruity Beet Salad
I enjoy serving this one on Shabbat when I serve the gefilte fish. The flavors complement each other so wonderfully and it’s so easy to prepare.
- 4 to 5 medium fresh beets, boiled and shredded
(I suppose you can use canned beets but fresh have lots more important vitamins and they also have a much better flavor and color)
- 4 canned peach halves, or 2 fresh, ripe peaches, cut into small chunks
- 2 ripe pears, cut into small chunks
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- ½ very small red onion, sliced
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, preferably with the pulp
- Place the shredded beets in a bowl, draining off most of, but not all of, their juices
- Add in everything else and stir
- Refrigerate for several hours before serving
No need for any added sugar in this recipe, the fruit adds all the taste necessary!
TIP: Beets shred nicest when they are cooked and then refrigerated for 6 hours or overnight.
Crunchy Coated Baked Apples
6 to 8 servings
Each apple is one serving, but most people will want more than one serving of this one!
- 6 to 8 medium green apples, peeled
- Oil as needed
- 1½ cup crushed walnuts or almonds, or a mix of both
- 1 cup rice krispies, somewhat crushed by hand in a bag first
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 packet vanilla sugar
- White raisins, optional
- Peel and core each apple.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a bowl, mix together the crushed nuts, rice krispies, sugar, and vanilla sugar.
- Brush each apple gently with a bit of oil. Roll each apple into the nut mixture.
- Line a small baking pan with baking paper. Stand up the coated apples in the pan. When they are all lined up, spoon a bit of the nut mixture into the center of each apple’s hole. You may choose to add several golden raisins to each apple’s center as well
- Place the pan into the oven and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, checking them after the first 45 minutes. They are done when they are soft.
- Now you can either buy or make vanilla ice cream to serve over each one…
Simple and Delectable Fruit Salad
- 5 oranges
- 4 green apples, peeled
- 4 red delicious apples, peeled
- 2 ripe but still yellow bananas
- ½ lb. (250 g) strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
- 1 cup blueberries, optional
- 10 pitted dates, chopped
- ½ cup yellow raisins
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- 3 Tablespoons sweet white wine, optional
** Important note: if you are serving this dish to small children, people allergic to alcohol, or any women who are expecting, delete the wine. It is not safe for these people to consume wine in any amounts.**
- Juice the oranges, reserving both the juice and the pulp. Pour this out into a large bowl.
- Grate the apples, using a large grater, on top of the orange juice.
- Slice the bananas and layer them on top of that.
- Add in the berries, dates, raisins and vanilla sugar. Toss gently to mix the fruit and flavors.
- Drizzle the wine over it.
- Serve immediately in pretty glass dessert dishes or in tall glasses with a wider rim. There will never be anything left over of this one!
Fruit and Pomegranate Chicken
In honor of Tu B’Shevat’s fruity holiday tastes, here’s a superb, gourmet chicken recipe I created a while ago, that is based on fruits, as well as the Shivat HaMinim (seven species)…
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 to 2 stalks celery, diced, optional
- 4 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 2 teaspoons paprika, divided
- 8 to 10 dried apricots
- 10 dried dates
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
- ¾ cup pomegranate juice
- 2 cups semi-dry white wine
- 1 Tablespoon parsley flakes
- 1 (or 1½) whole chicken, cut into eighths and skinned
- In a large, deep pan, add 2 Tablespoons of the oil and start to saute the onion, garlic and celery. Sprinkle on the paprika and half the pepper. After 10 minutes, stop sautéing and push these vegetables to the side of the pan. If your pan is small, remove some or most of the vegetables to a plate to reserve for later use.
- In the meantime, put the flour and half the pepper into a plastic bag and shake to mix it up a bit. Place each piece of chicken in this bag to coat it lightly.
- Brown each piece of chicken in the hot pan with the leftover veggies, on both sides, for just a few minutes. Add the last 1 to 2 Tablespoons of oil as needed so the chicken won’t burn when browning. Remove the browned chicken pieces to a plate.
- Pour the pomegranate juice and white wine into the debris left in the pan. Turn down the flame, if you haven’t already done so, and stir it up until it bubbles. Add the chicken pieces and shredded carrots back into the pan. Add back in the rest of the sautéed vegetables also. Turn up the heat until the chicken begins to bubble; then turn it down to a small simmer.
- In a small bowl, take out 1 Tablespoon of the flour left over from the bag. Add the parsley flakes to it and sprinkle this lightly over the cooking chicken.
- Layer the dried fruit pieces all over the top of the chicken and in between them a bit as well.
- Cover the pan and allow the chicken to finish cooking on simmer, until done, about 65 to 70 minutes from this point.
- Serve on a beautiful platter with a few pomegranate seeds for color, contrast, and taste.
Enjoy and have a good Tu B’Shevat!
Kol tuv, Tamar Ansh
All the recipes included here are copyrighted by Tamar Ansh and may not be reproduced in any form without explicit permission.
Tamar Ansh is an author, freelance recipe developer, and food columnist. Her articles have appeared in Jewish publications worldwide. She has published 4 books so far which include: Splitting the Sea (Targum Press), inspirational stories on finding one’s soul-mate; — [and she is right now almost done writing “Splitting the Sea 2” and still has a small, limited amount of room for anyone who wants to share their special shidduch story (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for the upcoming book. Submissions would have to be in by the end of Jan, 2008…]
Let’s Say Amen!, an illustrated children’s book about the holiness of Amen (Feldheim Publishers); her first cookbook, A Taste of Tradition (Feldheim Publishers) which is both gluten free and kosher for Passover. Her most recent book is called A Taste of Challah (Feldheim Publishers, 2007). It is a photographic guide to baking and shaping beautiful challahs, and includes many other healthy and interesting bread types as well. Visit www.TasteofChallah.com to see all her books online, as well as other, not yet published, challah and bread recipes. She occasionally accepts speaking engagements overseas and lives in Jerusalem with her family.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.