Lots of symbolic foods compete for table space at Rosh Hashana meals. It’s hard to cover all of them, but here’s one that’s so easy and delicious, you’re going to want to make sure you add it to your menu.
On Rosh Hashana, green beans symbolize prosperity and increased blessings for the New Year. The Talmudic instructs us to eat “rubiya” (actually fenugreek, a small seed-filled pod), pointing to the Hebrew word for increase or multiply. Some people substitute green beans for fenugreek; others use black-eyed peas.
This recipe throws in some honey for good measure, but also a lot of good Asian flavors that balance the sweetness.
Make sure you buy fresh, thin green beans. The thicker ones tend to get dry and stalky, and don’t taste good.
HONEY GINGER GREEN BEANS
500g (1 lb) green beans topped and tailed
About 1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons honey or silan (date honey)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
½ teaspoon sesame oil
HOW TO DO IT
1. Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F)
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the olive oil evenly. Spread beans out and roll them around in the oil so they are evenly coated. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
3. While the beans are roasting, mix together the remaining ingredients – honey/silan, soy sauce, garlic, orange juice, ginger and sesame oil in a small bowl.
4. Remove beans from oven and coat them evenly with the sauce. Return the tray to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes. For firmer, juicier beans, only bake for 5 minutes. If you prefer the beans a lot softer then bake for 10 minutes. I recommend 5 minutes.
Serves about 6 as a side dish.
This can be served hot or room temperature.