With a dusting of fresh snow on the ground and single-digit temperatures, it’s hard to believe that spring is around the corner. Yet in Israel – it truly is. As we prepare to celebrate Earth, spring and renewal for Tu B’shvat on Jan. 21, how about we refresh our old recipes as well?
Instead of the tried and tired plate of dried fruit, let’s borrow flavors from the Middle East and bring the zing of flavor to our table.
It is customary to include dates and apricots on our Tu B’shvat plate, so this time let them shine in updated Tabouleh (which can also be made with cooked quinoa for a GF version) and in a delicious and healthy dessert that is portable and non-perishable as well. Enjoy and Chag Sameach!!
Dried Fruit Tabouleh
Recipe adapted from Al Hashulhan Magazine
3 cups burgul (cracked wheat)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried apricot, diced
3 medium celery stalks, diced
1 cup Italian Parsley, minced
1/2 cup fresh mint, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Sumac
1/2 cup nuts, roasted and chopped (pecans, hazelnuts, cashew, etc.)
Soak the burgul for 30 minutes in boiling water to cover, (2 hours if the water is room temperature) until it is softened and ready to eat.
Mix the cracked wheat with the dried fruit, celery and herbs and season with the sumac, lemon and salt. Let rest for 10 minutes to absorb the flavors.
Add the nuts right before serving, so they do not absorb too much moisture and lose their crunch.
Pistachio Stuffed Dates w/Coconut
Recipe adapted from Simple Provisions Blog
½ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
1 teaspoon tahini
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoon Orange blossom or Rose water, optional
Shredded Sweetened or unsweetened coconut, for sprinkling over the top
Chop pistachios in a food processor till a crumble-like texture forms. Mix pistachios with the honey and tahini, adding a little extra of each if the mix needs more to stick together nicely.
Add orange blossom or Rose water at this point, if using.
Slice each date lengthways to the pit, then remove the pit.
Stuff the pistachio mixture into each date then sprinkle with coconut.
Adapted from Whole Living, Jan/Feb 2012 issue