Rosh Hashanah, which means "the beginning of the year," is the Jewish New Year. Tomorrow will be the beginning of the year 5747, according to the ancient Hebrew calendar.
Since the holiday eve falls on a Friday, I have prepared a special Sabbath dinner for my family's celebration. The menu has a delightful surprise: With a few last-minute additions, the hot dinner becomes a beautiful cold buffet for lunch or dinner the following day.
I am baking a big classic hallah, always part of the traditional menu. Then I am adding some currants to the dough to bake into individual hallahs for the buffet at the same time since no food is prepared on the Sabbath in orthodox homes.
The main course is a veal roast, served hot for the first menu. With veal being versatile, it will be served cold the next day in an entirely new arrangement, thinly sliced and accompanied by three spritely sauces to choose from.
A colorful platter of marinated vegetables takes care of both salad and vegetables for the buffet.
The two menus feature unusual desserts. The holiday eve dinner ends with an Apple Upside-Down Cake, made like a French tart, with plenty of juicy apples, glazed with honey. For the buffet, pomegranates, the traditional holiday fruit, are frozen into ruby-colored ice and served with crisp Honey-Sesame Thins.
I have included many foods that have a classic religious meaning. Hallah is the traditional bread, baked for all holidays except Passover. It is customary to dip the hallah in honey for Rosh Hashanah. Because it is round, it represents a rounded or complete year, as does the apple cake. The honey and apples also signify "a sweet year." The pomegranate in ancient lore is known as "a first fruit" to be enjoyed during this holiday.
TWO-IN-ONE MENU FOR ROSH HASHANAH
Warm Green Bean Salad
Baked Veal With Vegetables
Festive Honey Hallah
Apple Upside-Down Cake
Sliced Cold Veal With Three Sauces
Minihallah Pomegranate Ice
WARM GREEN BEAN SALAD
1 1/2 pounds green beans
Boiling salted water
2 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 sweet red pepper, stem and seeds removed, thinly sliced
Red onion rings for garnish
Cut ends from green beans. If using large beans, slice in half lengthwise. Cook beans in boiling salted water 4 to 5 minutes or until tender but still crisp and green. Drain.
Combine shallots, mustard, vinegar and olive oil in small bowl and blend well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place warm beans in large bowl. Add red pepper slices and toss with enough sauce to coat vegetables. Spoon onto lettuce leaves and garnish with red onion rings. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
BAKED VEAL WITH VEGETABLES
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 (6- to 8-pound) veal shoulder, rolled and tied
1 bunch carrots, peeled and sliced
12 small pearl onions, boiled and peeled
12 mushrooms, halved
2 heads garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 cup parsley, packed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 sprigs thyme, optional
Red Pepper-Basil Sauce
Place large sheet of heavy-duty foil long enough to loosely cover veal and vegetables in large, shallow roasting pan. Heat oil in small skillet and saute onion slices until tender. Spoon onions onto center of foil. Place veal, fat side up, on onion slices. Brown veal under broiler 4 to 5 minutes to seal in juices. Remove from oven and surround veal with carrot slices, pearl onions, mushrooms and unpeeled garlic cloves.
Place rosemary, dried thyme, parsley and 2 cloves peeled garlic in blender or food processor. Blend and sprinkle over veal. Carefully pour broth and wine over vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Seal foil securely. Bake at 350 degrees 2 hours. Uncover or open foil and fold back. Continue baking until tender. Slice thinly and serve surrounded by vegetables, including unpeeled garlic cloves. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Or serve cold with Tuna Sauce, Red Pepper-Basil Sauce and Mustard-Basil Sauce. Makes about 12 servings.
1 (3-ounce) can tuna, drained
1 egg yolk
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 flat anchovy fillets
3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer
Combine tuna, egg yolk, garlic, anchovies and lemon juice in food processor or blender and blend to puree. Gradually add olive oil in thin stream with machine running. Transfer to bowl and stir in non-dairy creamer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate. Serve with cold sliced veal. Makes about 2 cups.
Red Pepper-Basil Sauce
6 large sweet red peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer, optional