In Yiddish, or more accurately Yinglish, (a blend of old world and new), the word Tzimmes means “to make a fuss.” As in, “why are you making such a tzimmes over nothing!” A phrase that will prove to be a very handy comeback when dealing with my 15-year old daughter. I can see using it daily. So this dish, Tzimmes, a traditional favorite for Rosh Hashanna, is really simple, but a little bit of a fuss because of the prep. Carrots, turnips, parsnips, and in this case, butternut squash need to be peeled, sectioned and cut into cubes. Laced with honey, dried fruits and spices it is a culinary hope for a sweet and satisfying year ahead. I’m bringing it to our extended family gathering for the holiday.
I cheated a little by using “baby” carrots, which we know are not really baby carrots but just ugly carrots that get whittled down by machine to look like cute babies. Vegetal cosmetic surgery. So I didn’t have to peel those. OK…I bought the butternut squash already peeled too. It was there, right next to the whole squash, it was peeled, I was in a hurry to get it done for tonight, so I justified it. So, my Tzimmes is already not turning out to be so fussy. (and my writing is starting to have a Jewish accent! OY!)
I added raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots and crystalized ginger. Not much fuss there.
Cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, cumin, salt…
and honey, a good amount of honey (please…I need a good year….you know, good health, a strong heart, 6 matching numbers in the Mega Millions…)
Some traditional recipes I’ve seen call for simmering this low and slow on the stovetop, making a kind of mushy, color faded stew. It could be why I was never a big fan of the dish. I roasted them in my clay roasting pan instead, but any roasting pan will do. Before I put it in the oven I added some chicken broth and orange juice, coating the mix and giving it some liquid to steam up through it during roasting. The veggies stay nice and moist that way, not to mention that added glaze from the reduced stock and juice. And don’t forget the honey. For a sweet, sweet New Year.
PS…it’s an amazing addition to any fall, or holiday meal, add yams for Thanksgiving….(it’s really not that much of a fuss, and it’s worth it!)
Roasted Root Vegetable Tzimmes
1 16-oz bag of baby carrots, cut lengthwise, in half
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium purple top turnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6-8 dried apricots, diced
3-4 pieces of crystalized ginger, finely diced
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground whole nutmeg (if available, if not use already ground)
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional as garnish)
Juice of one orange (or 1/2 cup store-bought)
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste after roasting)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep all ingredients as specified (this is the fuss part.)
2. Combine everything in on large roasting pan, including fruit, seasoning, spices and liquid. Cover tightly with snugly fitting lid or aluminum foil. This will allow the vegetables to steam and par cook. (this is the no fuss part.)
3. Roast for 25 minutes covered. Remove cover, gently toss vegetables to recoat in liquid. Roast for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are nicely glazed and lightly browned. Garnish with zest of one orange (optional).
You can also find this recipe posted on relish.com