Rosh Hashanah - Tomato, Onion and Roasted Lemon Salad

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is fast approaching and I've been test-driving new recipes for the two dinners. It's a "two-fer" holiday - the same celebration on consecutive nights.  

We're celebrating the first night at home and the second night at a friend's place. Although I have my old standbys (honey cake, I'm looking at you!), I'm in the  mood to shake things up a bit.

Add some Sephardic and Persian flavors to the mix of Ashkenazic European tastes. We're mixing it up big time. Keeping some old traditions and making some new ones.

Rosh Hashanah is one of my favorite holidays. It's all about new beginnings and being open to infinite possibilities. It's about following your dreams yet accepting that the ultimate results are out of your hands. This AND that. Certainty AND uncertainty. Learning to let go of the outcomes. 

I'm not always good at that.

Hence my love for this holiday - an annual reminder to just.let.go. And enjoy good food with friends and family. (Cue "tradition...tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof, which by the way is returning to Broadway in 2015!).

Now the salad.

I love the mix of flavors - the roasted lemons (I use Meyer lemons as they are sweeter than regular lemons), mint, sage and of course, the pomegranate molasses. Think of it as a type of balsamic vinegar reduction. Same idea but Persian.

And the colors! Remember when tomatoes were only red?

Chop tomatoes in largish chunks but finely slice the red onions. Leave the parsley and mint whole unless the leaves are ridiculously large. I like to identify the herbs in my salad by sight as well as taste.

Tomato, Onion and Roasted Lemon Salad

(print here)

(From Bon Appétit | August 2014 by Yotam Ottolenghi)

yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

1 lemon, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, seeds removed (I use Meyer lemons)

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (Pomegranate molasses is available at Middle Eastern markets and some grocery stores, and online).

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds mixed small tomatoes, such as Sun Gold, cherry, or heirloom, halved

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large

1/4 cup purple sprouts or microgreens (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°. Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain and pat dry. (I skipped this step because I used Meyer lemons).

Gently toss lemon slices with sage, sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until lemons are no longer wet and only slightly colored, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk pomegranate molasses, allspice, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add lemons, tomatoes, onion, parsley, mint, and sprouts, if using, and toss gently; season with salt and pepper.