I'd never actually eaten Tsimis before this week, but I had read enough about the sweet glazed carrot recipe to know that I'd probably rather eat carrots, honey, and raisins on their own. For a traditional dish, Tsimis doesn't have the best reputation—most references to the dish include the words "mushy" or "cloying." Noah and Rae Bernamoff, however, employ some tricks in their recipe in The Mile End Cookbook to update the dish. They first roast the carrots to develop complexity and cook them almost all the way through in dry heat. Next, the carrots are tossed in a honey-thyme mixture with a mix of dried fruit and ginger. Finally, a huge handful of toasted sunflower seeds are tossed in for contrasting texture and slightly bitter, nutty bursts of flavor.
Why I picked this recipe: Tsimis is about as traditional of a High Holiday dish as you can get.
What worked: Roasting the carrots indeed helped to temper the sweetness of the honey, and the sunflower seeds added welcome crunch.
What didn't: I found the roasting time a bit off: The carrots needed less time in the oven (30 minutes was plenty).
Suggested Tweaks: It'd be easy to substitute other dried fruits or nuts into the mixture, and swapping out some of the carrots for parsnips or another root vegetable could make for nice contrast.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Mile End Cookbook to give away.