There are many symbolic foods traditionally eaten at the Rosh Hashana meal. (This article does a good job explaining the background for this.) Probably the most well known, of course, is apples dipped in honey, but there are many others that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Mrs. Varda Epstein, an Oorah employee in Israel, goes the healthy (and original!) route and prepares salads. In a play on the Hebrew word kares/karet, meaning cut off, many people eat karsi/karti, Hebrew for leeks, and say a short prayer that our enemies be cut off. (שיכרתו שונאינו)


  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 10-12 thin leeks, trimmed of green tops, washed (Star-K guidelines on checking leeks for bugs)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse (kosher) salt
  • 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Chopped chives

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add leeks; return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the leeks and transfer them to a shallow serving dish.

In a medium bowl, mash the garlic with the coarse salt, using the back of a spoon. Stir in the mustard, lemon juice and vinegar. Whisk in both oils. Pour the dressing over the leeks. Serve chilled or at room temperature, sprinkled with chopped chives.

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