Tu B’Shevat Recipes


gourmet-kosher-cookingBy GourmetKosherCooking.com for Matzav.com

This Thursday is Tu B’shvat, the Rosh Hashanah of the trees.  It is customary to praise the land of Israel – “a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey” (Deuteronomy 8) and to partake of its bounty.  There is nothing like fresh pomegranate seeds or grapes in a salad.  And then there are all those platters of dried fruit to devour. Many home cooks struggle with trying to think of new and interesting fruity recipes for the holiday. Here are some Tu B shvat recipes with fruit to help you enjoy the holiday and participate fully in praising the land.

For even more delicious Tu B’Shvat recipes, go to www.gourmetkoshercooking.com.

Maple Date Bars


1-3/4 cups chopped dates
¾ cup water
1/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup margarine, softened
1 cup flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
¼ teaspoon baking soda


Combine dates, water and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together margarine and sugar. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Remove 2 cups of batter and press into bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Spread date mixture over crust. Sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack before cutting into bars. I like to store these in the refrigerator.

Dried Fruit and Nut Cookies


2 tablespoons margarine, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts
2 ounces dark chocolate, cut into chunks
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine margarine, oil and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down bowl, until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add applesauce, egg white and vanilla and mix to combine. Add flour, oatmeal, salt and cinnamon and mix just until just combined. Add cherries, apricots, walnuts and chocolate and mix to combine.

Spray 1 baking sheet with cooking spray. Using 1 tablespoon cookie dough at a time, roll into balls and place 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Press cookies down with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly, as cookies will not spread as much as cookies with more butter. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned but still soft. Remove from oven and cool on racks.

Lemon Garlic Olives


1 (21 ounce) jar pimento-stuffed olives
8 sprigs fresh oregano
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 slices lemon
20 black peppercorns
6 tablespoons lemon juice


Drain olives, reserving liquid. Layer half each of olives, oregano, garlic, lemon slices and peppercorns in a 1-quart jar (you can use a plastic container if you are stuck). Repeat layers. Pour lemon juice into jar and add enough reserved liquid to fill. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cucumber and Pomegranate Salad


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 large bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
½ cup pomegranate seeds


Combine lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and shake well. On a serving platter, layer fennel, cucumber and apple. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top.

Chicken & Fruit Fricassee

Restaurant Recipe, by Chef Jeff Nathan
Abigael’s On Broadway

Yield: 4 – 6


¾ cup dry figs
¾ cup dry apricots, diced
¾ cup golden raisins
2 cups water, warm
¼ cup brandy
Pinch saffron
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup olive oil
2 – 3 pound chickens, cut into eighths
2 onions, diced medium
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
128 ounces can crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


In a small bowl combine the dry fruits with the water. Set aside and allow to plump at least 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the fruit water.

In a separate small bowl, combine the brandy with the saffron & cinnamon. Allow to steep 20-30 minutes. Stir well.

Dredge the chicken pieces in flour. In a large sauté pan of hot olive oil, brown the chicken on both sides. Transfer chicken to an ovenproof casserole. Pour off most of the remaining oil. Add the onions and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until translucent. Add the dried fruits, tomato, brandy mix and reserved fruit water. Using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan for the pan drippings. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Bake, uncovered at 350˚ F for approximately 1 hour; or until the chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly.

Serve with couscous, or rice pilaf.

{GourmetKosherCooking.com for Matzav.com}