From, “Taste of Tradition” by Ruth Sirkis
Ruth, considered to be ‘the Julia Child of Israel” tells us, Tu B’Shvat is all about “going on a nature kick.” In Israel, “meadows, orchards and vineyards begin to blossom.” So, “foods of the holiday are related to nature and trees as well. It is traditional to serve fruits. Since few are available fresh at this time of year, dried varieties are most often used.”
40 medium size pitted prunes (you can also use dried apricots)
8 oz apricot jam (or any other kind of jam)
20 blanched almonds
20 small paper cups
1. Place a prune in each cup. Spread with jam.
2. Top with another prune. Press together with your fingers. Spread top prune with more jam and tuck an almond on top.
4 oz pitted dates
4 oz figs
2 tblsp breadcrumbs
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp brandy (optional)
4 oz chopped walnuts
20 small cups
1. Remove fig stems. Grind figs and dates together in a food processor. Add one tablespoon of bread crumbs. Put into medium bowl.
2. Add lemon juice and brandy. Mix well with wooden spoon. Add remaining breadcrumbs and blend until a smooth dough forms.
3. Form ropes the thickness of a finger. Cut into 2 inch strips. Spread chopped walnuts on a plate and press each “finger” into them. Place in cups walnut side up.
“Taste of Tradition” is available in the USA via Amazon and also via many Jewish book stores. Ruth has another book in English “Popular Foods From Israel”, which covers typical Israeli dishes.
Another suggestion from my mom, Barbara Kline
1. Fill dried apricots with softened cream cheese and top with a few dried cranberries or cherries. You can do the same with dates.
From, “Jewish Holiday Kitchen” by Joan Nathan
Poached Fruit with Wine
6 oz pitted prunes
6 oz dried figs
½ C pecan halves
1 ½ C dry red wine
¼ C sweet red wine or port
¼ C brown sugar or to taste
1 stick cinnamon
grated peel of 1 lemon
½ sliced orange
1 handful of juniper berries
1. Place prunes, figs, and pecan halves in saucepan, adding enough wine to cover ¼ of the way up the fruits and nuts.
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered over low heat for about 20 minutes.
3. Serve with whipped cream. It’s all very rich so serve small portions.
She also makes a salad with
1 peeled and sliced orange in round pieces
1 avocado sliced
1 endive separated
1 bunch of watercress
½ head romaine lettuce
2 pitted dates slivered small
seeds of ½ pomegranate or ¼ C cranberries
1. Combine all in bowl.
2. 15 minutes before serving, mix in the following salad dressing (15 minutes is in honor of the 15 kinds of fruits and nuts eaten on the 15th of Shvat).
2 tblsp basalmic vinegar
1 clove garlic crushed
dash of sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Fresh ground pepper to tste
5 tablespoons olive oil
1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil.
2. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking until well blended.