Of course, of course we will be slicing apples and dipping them in honey on Rosh Hashanah. (which begins at sunset on September 29th).
But chickpeas are on the menu too. In his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, the late rabbi and food authority Gil Marks wrote that “chickpeas are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food, a symbol of fertility, abundance and a wish for a well-rounded year to come.”
I usually make chickpeas into hummus, but sometimes I serve them whole, as a snack, roasted, the way my mother made them when I was growing up – a recipe called nahit. She coated the chickpeas with vegetable oil, sprinkled them with salt and paprika and baked them until crispy.
I changed her recipe somewhat -- I use olive oil, kosher salt and fresh thyme, or sometimes za’atar, as seasonings. Nahit is a delicious snack and a healthy one too: chickpeas are a good source of protein, minerals (including calcium) and fiber.
For this coming holiday though I’ll be making a chickpea and carrot salad to serve with dinner. Carrots are another symbolic ingredient of the holiday, so this recipe is a double-up of special ingredients of festive food for the holiday table. It’s a dish that can be made in advance, which makes it a good choice at such a busy time. And it is colorful too, fit for any celebration, including Break-the-Fast.
Chick Pea and Carrot Salad
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
4 medium carrots, sliced thin
1/2 chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
salt to taste
Rinse the chickpeas under cold running water; let drain and place in a bowl. Add the carrots, onion, parsley, mint, cumin and cayenne pepper and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to coat the ingredients evenly. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.
Makes 6 servings