Hummus Simanim

Hummus Simanim

As the New Year approaches, I always like to evaluate where I stand and think about what changes I want to make for myself in the coming year, both personally and professionally. For years, my goal was to take the necessary steps towards writing my own cookbook, and now that I have met that goal (far beyond my expectations, with our first printing of 15,000 books completely sold out in just 3 months!), I keep asking myself, “What’s next?”.

I’m not the type of person that settles on status quo – I’m always dreaming up the next big thing and finding ways to challenge myself. It’s like they say – “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind” – and I definitely believe in that.

Truth be told, once the book went to print, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I couldn’t imagine coming up with new recipes and ideas ever again! But as my workload lightened up this summer, I got back in the kitchen because I wanted to, not because I had to, and I found my groove again! I went back to my roots, the foods and the flavors that I love the most (yes, that means Israeli food!) and this amazing new recipe came to me! It’s simanim on steroids and it is everything you’ve ever dreamed of for your Rosh Hashanah table and more!

Simanim, or symbolic foods, are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize our hopes for a sweet New Year. Some simanim include leeks, pomegranate, gourds (any type of squash), dates, black eyed peas or green beans, beets, carrots and fish head (some use ram’s head). These specific foods are eaten because their hebrew translation relates to specific blessings that convey our wishes for the coming year.

When I put the platter together, I couldn’t stop taking photos because, I mean, HOW GORGEOUS IS IT, amiright??? I all but maxed out my SD card and went. to. town. (No- I like seriously went to town, for some fresh pita!). I invited my neighbors over and we stood over my kitchen counter in the mountains, scooping hummus and salad onto blistered bread, the tastes of Israel growing stronger with each bite. It was a simple dish, but it captured everything I love about what I do – channeling my creativity, sharing with friends, cooking with color and putting a twist on tradition.

This dish reminded me how important it is to cook from a place of love – it is, after all, the secret ingredient that makes everything taste better – and that it’s food, family and tradition that brings us all together.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and sweet New Year with much success in all areas of your lives. May we continue to reach milestones and share good news with each other this year!
Ksiva Vachasima Tova L’shana Tova Umisukah!

Related Recipes:

simanim fritto misto
simanim pasta salad
simanim holiday salad
hummus bassar
chestnut hummus

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25 thoughts on “Hummus Simanim

  1. hey Chanie! long-time reader, first-time poster — I’m making this for RH lunch! posted a pic (in process) on my insta — rebex.rose. thanks for the great idea!!

  2. How can it be that I only returned from Israel two days ago and I am already longing to return. I have landed at your gorgeously written and photographed blog. This recipe looks just the thing to serve to my friends this summer when I want to introduce them to the tastes and textures of middle eastern cuisine. Thank you!

  3. I love the idea of using a lazy Susan for this! How big was the one you used? Do you remember where you bought it?
    Thank you for all these great Rosh Hashana simanim ideas! I am always scrambling at the last minute to think of things. Now just please think of something creative for that fish head…

  4. I see you list green beans with dates. My hebrew isn’t that great. What is the explanation for them instead of dates?

    1. The green beans and dates are both separate symbolic foods.

      Dates, תמרים, are related to the word תם—to end and we say “May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that there come an end to our enemies, haters and those who wish evil upon us.”

      Small beans, רוביא—לוביא, are related to the words, רב—many, and לב—heart. Black eyed peas are traditional but some use green beans instead. We say “May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that our merits shall increase and that You hearten us.”

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