Sonya Sanford's Modern L.A. - Inspired Tzimmes
Shared by Sonya Sanford
Recipe Roots: Soviet Union (Ukraine) > Seattle, WA > Los Angeles, CA
Sonya Sanford, a food writer and stylist living in L.A., grew up foraging for mushrooms, strawberries, plums, and apples. “My father knew every fruit-bearing tree in the Greater Seattle area,” she says. But, foraging “wasn’t cool then; it was weird.” As a kid, she was embarrassed by the skill her father had cultivated when her family lived in the Soviet Union before immigrating to the United States in 1977.
In their new home, her family made almost everything from scratch, drawing on their Russian and Ukrainian roots. Her mother’s mother, Baba Mira (Baba is the Russian word for grandmother), who also moved to Seattle, “would wake up at the crack of dawn to make her and my grandfather elaborate lunches… And, every holiday, every family dinner was a four- or five-course meal that she prepared by herself.” For Rosh Hashanah, that included homemade gefilte fish, homemade gravlax, chopped liver, a festive main dish, and tzimmes, or stewed carrots.
As Sonya became a strong cook in her own right and ultimately moved to Los Angeles, she borrowed from her grandmother’s recipe and updated her tzimmes adding fresh squeezed orange juice, tangy pomegranate molasses, spices, and fresh mint to roasted carrots. The resulting dish is bright and contemporary, as much a reflection of Sonya’s Ashkenazi roots as her American ones.
Tzimmes with Dates, Ginger, Pomegranate, and Mint
Time: 40 minutes
1¾ pounds (10 medium) carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces on a bias
6 medium-sized dates, pitted and roughly chopped (¼ cup chopped)
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (preferably Al wadi)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. Add the carrots, chopped dates and ginger to a medium bowl. Pour the coconut oil over the carrot mixture and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle the cumin, cardamom, salt and pepper over the mix and toss to incorporate.
3. Evenly spread the carrot mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Roast, tossing the mixture halfway through, until golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Remove the carrots from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the roasted carrots and toss to coat. Check for seasoning, then transfer to a platter and serve immediately.