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Festive Tu B’Shvat Fruit Menu
Celebrate the bounty of Tu B’Shvat with these delectable, fruity recipes.
On Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of the trees, we celebrate by indulge in delicious fruit. God created a beautiful world for our enjoyment. Thank Him for the vast array of gorgeous and colorful fruits that are so appealing and begging to be tasted. Whether you favor your fruit crunchy, juicy, sweet, tart, colorful there is a fruit to satisfy every taste.
Here is a selection of recipes that include fruits. They can be part of any menu.
Bulgur Salad with Oranges, Cashews & Fresh Herbs
Look for bulgur in bags in the health food section of the supermarket (it is commonly available) or at a natural food store (both in bags and in bulk).
Bob’s Red Mill Bulgur is a good brand of bulgur to use, but avail yourself of any variety found in your supermarket.
- 1½ cups medium or coarse bulgur
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 orange cut in segments
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs maple syrup
- 1 Tbs ground cumin (optional)
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ½ cup raisins or craisins
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves or cilantro (optional)
- 1/3 cup roasted, lightly salted cashew pieces
In a bowl, combine bulgur and boiling water. Let bulgur soak in the hot water, covered, until softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
In a large bowl whisk together segments of orange, lemon juice, maple syrup, cumin, cinnamon, and oil until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper to taste. Add soaked bulgur, raisins, green onions, mint, cilantro, and oranges to dressing and toss well. Chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir in cashews.
Preparation time 20 minutes
Special Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Apple Soup
Apples in soup? Some people might balk at the idea but this easy, heartwarming winter soup is a winner. Sweetness from the sweet potato combined with the tartness from the apple along with the spices balances the flavor of this soup beautifully.
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and diced.
- 2-Granny Smith apple
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 large leek washed and cut into circles
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 inch piece ginger (optional)
Place the diced sweet potato, chunks of apple and leeks into a 4 quart pot. Cover with water and cook for 30 minutes until all ingredients are soft. With a blender stick, puree vegetables and apples. Add the spices. Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Adjust the soup by adding more or less water to get the desired consistency. Decorate each plate with some sliced almonds, or sliced banana (light green long thin) peppers. Serve hot with rice cakes or crackers.
Preparation time 15 minutes
Chicken Pilaf with Nuts and Craisins
Chicken and rice cook together in a fragrant mix of traditional eastern Mediterranean flavorings. Serve with flatbread and a tossed salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
- ¾ tsp (4 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (2 mL) pepper
- 3 lb (1.4 kg) chicken pieces, skinned
- 2 Tbs (25 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs (15 mL) oil
- 1 onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup (125 mL) slivered almonds or pine nuts/chestnuts
- ¼ cup (50 mL) craisins
- 1- ½ cups (375 mL) brown basmati rice or long-grain brown rice
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground allspice (optional)
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon (optional)
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cumin
- 1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock or chicken soup mixed with water
- 2 Tbs (25 mL) fresh chopped or frozen fresh dill (optional)
Sprinkle ½ tsp (2 ml) of the salt and pepper all over chicken. In large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat, brown chicken, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate. In same pot sauté onion and garlic for 10 minutes or until brown; adding some oil if needed,. Stir in almonds, craisins and chestnuts; cook, stirring, until nuts darken, about 3 minutes. Add rice, allspice, cinnamon, cumin and remaining salt; cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat grains.
Add stock and 1-1/4 cups (300 ml) water. Nestle chicken in rice mixture; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender and juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork.
Preparation time 30 minutes
Light and Tasty Fruit Flan
This beautiful dessert is a great finish to any meal. Especially on Tu Bishvat, it complements the theme of fruits herein presented. There is a special flan pan that has an indentation, which when inverted allows for the custard and fruit filling. It is available in most houseware or kitchen supply stores. It is a favorite with all ages.
- 6 eggs separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ Tbs oil
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 1 package or 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- 1 cup flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Custard: 1 whipped cream + 1 vanilla pudding
- Fruit topping (Choose your favorite fruits such as strawberries, kiwis, pineapples, blueberries, tangerines.)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ Tbs corn starch
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1Tbs sweet liquor
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat egg whites with sugar until stiff peaks form. In a small bowl, mix flour with baking powder and set aside. On a lower speed, add yolks, oil and orange juice alternating with flour and baking powder mixture.
Oil the flan pan very thoroughly in center and on all sides. Pour in the batter and distribute evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool while you prepare the custard. Beat the whipped cream with the vanilla pudding. Invert the cooled cake remove gingerly from the pan so it does not break. Pour custard into the center of the flan and cover with your choice of fruits.
In a small pot, bring the orange juice with all other glaze ingredients to a boil, allowing it to thicken slightly. Smear the glaze over the fruits, for a nice effect. Fruit flan can be refrigerated up to a week.
Preparation 30 minutes
Serves 8- 10
About the Author
Gitta Bixenspanner is a certified nutritionist who lives in Montreal with her husband. She teaches high school, seminary and give inspiring adult education classes in Jewish topics. As a certified nutritionist she gives cooking seminars, the main purpose being to teach people to adopt healthier lifestyles in keeping with the mitzvah of taking care of our bodies.