My good friend and neighbor Randy made Tzimmes with me today. We had a lot of fun making and creating the recipe, combining what we found and adding a little more of this and that until it turned out splendidly. I love the fresh orange with the sweet carrot and starchy potato. And the tart cherries and apricots with the dates and warm apple. The colors of this dish are wonderful! We made our Tzimmes without the traditional prunes but you can certainly add some.

As I understand it, Tzimmes is a Yiddish term that generally means making a big fuss over something. Tzimmes is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish that does involve some chopping, roasting and simmering but it otherwise is not fussy to make. Randy will be serving this dish at her Passover seder in a few weeks, but I could eat this any time.

  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped, pitted dates (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 tart apple
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 organic orange 
  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the carrots and the sweet potatoes into 2-inch pieces. Toss with the oil and arrange into a 2-quart baking dish. Roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes.

In the meantime melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan. Add the fruit, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, maple syrup and 1 cup of orange juice and simmer for a minute. Cut the organic orange in half, remove the green stem part and process the orange half in a food processor or blender, with the peel. Add the processed orange to the rest of the fruit. Season with cinnamon and salt.


Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour the fruit mixture over the carrots and potatoes. Toss everything together, reduce the heat to 350°F and place the baking dish back in the oven for another 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and nicely caramelized. 

In the meantime, bring the orange juice and 1 tablespoon of butter to a boil in a small pan. Stir in 1 tbsp of brown sugar and reduce the finishing glaze by simmering for about 10 minutes. 

When the Tzimmes is done roasting, finish with a generous sprinkling of parsley, a drizzle of finishing glaze and a dash of coarse salt. 


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