As we draw closer to Passover, many of us are wondering what our Seder menus are going to look like this year (me included!). One thing is certain, I will definitely have some type of tzimmes at the table.
Tzimmes is a traditional Ashkenazi accompaniment to large holiday meals. It’s usually served with a meat meal, like brisket. In fact, many people roast the tzimmes together with the brisket, because the sweetness compliments the meat. While tzimmes is more commonly served at Rosh Hashanah, I like to serve some form of tzimmes at every big holiday meal. That extra bit of sweetness at the table is always appreciated (especially by the kids!).
This tzimmes has a lovely spiced flavor. The walnuts and roll cut carrots give it a pleasant, hearty texture. While some tzimmes can be enjoyed in larger quantities as a side dish (like sweet potatoes), this particular tzimmes is meant to be used sparingly as an accompaniment to meat.
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- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 5 carrots, peeled and roll cut (see photo below)
- 1 tbsp non-dairy butter substitute (I like Earth Balance)
- 1 cup prunes, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 orange, juiced
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 cups water
- Place the walnuts in a small skillet, turn heat to medium. Toast nuts for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, till the creamy-colored walnut flesh is toasted light brown. Remove from heat.
- Remove ends from carrots, then roll cut each carrot: slice off the tip of the carrot diagonally at a 45-degree angle. Roll the carrot halfway, repeat the cut at the same angle. Repeat the process all the way up the carrot at ¼ inch intervals. This will make a pretty triangular-shaped cut with a nice texture for tzimmes.
- In a medium pot, melt 1 tablespoon of non-dairy butter substitute. Saute carrots for 5 minutes till well coated in the melted butter substitute. Add the toasted walnuts and other remaining ingredients to the pot, cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Cover pot tightly and simmer for 1 hour over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. If mixture appears to be drying out, add a little more water.
- After 1 hour of simmering, taste the tzimmes; add more sugar or spice according to taste. If you still have a lot of liquid in the pot, uncover and continue to simmer for a few more minutes until liquid is reduced to a thick syrupy texture. Remove from heat. Serve tzimmes warm as an accompaniment to a beef meal, like brisket.