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One of my all-time greatest hobbies during the pre-Rosh Hashanah cooking marathon session is taking the symbolic Jewish foods of the time of year and figuring out new ways to reinvent them. We definitely have our family classics that appear year after year at our Rosh Hashanah seder – sweet baked rubia (black-eyed peas), tzimmes (carrots) and leek latkes, not to mention the standard pomegranate seeds, dates, apples dipped in honey and no one’s actual favorite – the fish head. I, however, like many other Jewish balabustas obsessed with tapping into the food themes of the zman, also very much enjoy incorporating the simanim ingredients into the main part of the meal – be it by way of dips, salads, side dishes and meats. This week I’ve been working on simanim dips or salatim if you will. Here are three that I plan on serving this year:

Leek and Garlic Dip

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I know this dip might look like guac that’s been sitting out too long, but I swear it tastes incredible! My husband, who – full disclosure – is not the biggest veggie enthusiast, actually told me that this is the best dip he’s EVER had. Wow.

  • 8 medium Leeks, green parts only, soaked, checked and sliced into rings (found at Trader Joes)
  • 6 + 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tspns Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • sprinkle of Salt and Pepper.

Saute  the Leeks and 6 cloves of chopped Garlic in the Olive Oil on medium until fairly soft, approx. 8 mins. Cool. Add the extra 2 Garlic Cloves, Lemon Juice and seasoning. Blend. Adjust to taste. Serve with Challah, chips or crackers.

Classic Carrot Dip

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This carrot dip takes minimal time to throw together, and is also packed with layers of flavor. Post-High Holidays, this one is definitely going to be making a reappearance on my Shabbos table throughout the year.

  • 4 cups chopped, cooked Carrots (approx 12 medium raw Carrots)
  • 3 cloves of fresh Garlic 3 cubes of Dorot Garlic
  • 3 tbsp of chopped Cilantro or 3 cubes of Dorot Cilantro
  • 1/3 cup Lemon Juice
  • 3 tbls Olive Oil
  • 1 tspn Cumin
  • 1 1/2 tspn Salt
  • sprinkle of Black Pepper

Blend all ingredients together. Adjust to taste. Serve with challah, chips or crackers.

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

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If you’re into making your own hummus, this is a great way to switch things up for Rosh Hashanah. The ease of this recipe cannot be overemphasized.

  • 2 cups cooked Black-Eyed Peas (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tblsp Lemon Juice
  • 4 tblsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cubes Dorot Garlic (or 2 fresh Garlic Cloves)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • pinch of Black Pepper

Blend together all ingredients. Adjust to taste. Serve with challah, chips or crackers.