4 Ingredient Truffles & Rosh HaShanah Seder
Photo: Sara Gardner

4 Ingredient Truffles & Rosh HaShanah Seder

Nope! I don’t have my holidays mixed up. And, Yes! Seders are conducted in celebration of Rosh HaShanah.

Read on to learn about Sara Gardner‘s vision to gather Rosh HaShanah recipes from her adopted Jewish community in Madrid. The Reform Jewish Community of Madrid is a gathering place for residents from all over the world. Their commitment to sharing Shabbat meals, holidays and life cycle events is an exciting reflection of Jewish vibrancy and diversity in contemporary Spain.

The Rosh HaShanah Seder Cookbook highlights symbolic ingredients that have been included in Sephardic Rosh HaShanah seders for centuries. All proceeds from the sale of this cookbook will benefit the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid.

Scroll down to find the easiest 4 ingredient, chocolateyDate Truffles recipe (dairy-free and vegan) and to consider purchasing the cookbook Gardner has championed.

kosher honey cigars Rosh HaShanah
Yael’s Honey Cigars. Photo: Sara Gardner

You’ll learn a lot, be inspired, and feel connected to a burgeoning Spanish community. As we look towards fresh beginnings at this new year, why not include some new/old traditions and symbolic ingredients  (simanim) at your holiday table?

Sara Gardner shares

I first got to know the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid over one of their signature Friday night Shabbat potlucks. Over the course of an evening, I fell in love with this vibrant group of people as well as the different dishes they contributed to the Sabbath table.

I became connected to the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid, or la Comunidad as I like to call them, through Yael Cobano, the community’s president. Searching for Jewish community as an American Fulbright Scholar in Madrid, Spain, I’m not quite sure what I expected to find, but la Comunidad quickly exceeded whatever expectations I had. They  became my Friday night family, I taught cooking classes for them, and my weeks were filled with events and meals with my Madrid Jewish community.

Rosh HaShanah kosher meat patties
Keftes de Prasa. Photo: Sara Gardner

A year later, I returned to the United States and missed my weekly meals with la Comunidad. Over the phone with Yael, while discussing the menu for the community’s Rosh Hashanah celebration, we came up with the idea to create a cookbook for the community based on its tradition of a Rosh Hashanah seder.

Although la Comunidad is made up of congregants from all over the world – including South America, Israel, North Africa, Spain, and more – and with various Jewish backgrounds – both Sephardic and Ashkenazi—we follow the beautiful Sephardic tradition of holding a seder full of symbolic ingredients to invite blessings in the new year.

Rosh HaShanah kosher Beet apple salad
Marguerita’s Beet & Apple Salad. Photo: Sara Gardner

By creating a cookbook based on this seder, we hope to raise funds for the community as we showcase the diverse stories and recipes of the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid.

The book itself follows the order of a Sephardic Rosh Hashanah seder. Each section of the book is organized by each of the symbolic ingredients – called simanim— included in the seder, including apples, beans, beets, dates, fish, honey, leeks, pomegranates, and squash.

Rosh HaShanah kosher roasted squash with arugula walnut pesto
Roasted Squash with Walnut & Arugula Pesto. Photo: Sara Gardner

All of the recipes have been contributed by community members, translated from the Spanish, and modified for the American kitchen. We hope that through sharing this cookbook, we not only ensure the continuation of the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid, but also that we can share the stories and the recipes that bring global Jewish communities together.

Rosh HaShanah cookbook Madrid
Rosh HaShanah Seder Cookbook; Stories & Recipes from the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid

You can order your copy of The Rosh Hashanah Seder Cookbook: Stories and Recipes from the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid  by clicking here.

About Sara Gardner: Sara currently works as a food historian and researcher specializing in the culinary heritage and cultural identity of the Sephardic Jews. An alumna of Tufts University, she was a Fulbright graduate researcher in Madrid, Spain during the 2016-2017 year. She currently works as the Associate Director of Young Adult Programs at Hebrew College in Newton, MA.

From Liz: I met Sara at the Hazon Food Conference in the summer of 2017 when she asked me for a ride back to her parents’ home, near mine, in CT. We got to chatting about Jewish food history and her fascinating work in Madrid. Our friendship was sealed when she jumped up to assist me with grating a load of symbolic Rosh HaShanah veggies during a demonstration I was presenting.

Disclosure: By purchasing items through clickable links on this blog, you are helping to offset the costs of running Kosher Like Me. There is no additional cost for you, the customer. 

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