Tsimmes – (Yiddish, noun) – An uproar or commotion (usually inconsequential), or, a confusing mess. Also, a sweet side dish of root vegetables, served with brisket or some other main dish protein.
I’ve given this New Year Carrot Tsimmes (Braised Honey Carrots) recipe a new twist by changing up very nearly everything about it, except the carrots!
At the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, it’s traditional to serve sweet foods to signify our wish for a Sweet New Year. Tsimmes (or Tzimmes) is a common side dish usually made with carrots, or a melange of root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and some kind of dried fruit like raisins or prunes. Most common recipes rely on brown sugar or cane sugar to enhance the sweetness, but I confess that I frequently find the combination a little too cloyingly sweet for my adult palate.
While I have nothing against sugar (good lord, people, I make jam!), in this version, I rely entirely on honey and dried fruit – and the carrots – for the sweetness. I’ve changed out the cooking liquid, usually beef broth or water, for cranberry juice, used dried cranberries instead of the much sweeter raisins or prunes (sorry! dried plums!), and included one secret ingredient to make the dish brighter and fresher tasting, cutting the sweetness without compromising it. What’s that secret ingredient? Balsamic vinegar! Read on…
Cranberry Carrot Tsimmes (Braised Honey Carrots)
- 1 lb bag frozen sliced carrots
- 12 oz (1-1/2 cups) cranberry juice
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- *Optional – 2 Tbs finely grated orange zest (see notes after recipe)
- 4-6 Tbs. honey (to taste – start with 4; you can add more later)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs. butter -or- kosher parve margarine, or vegan non-dairy butter substitute
Place the carrots, cranberry juice, dried cranberries, orange zest (if using), and salt into a 4-quart pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
When the carrots come to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the honey and balsamic vinegar, cover and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove the pot’s lid and stir well.
This is where you taste the liquid and decide if you want to add more honey or not.
Raise the heat to medium. Continue to cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced to a thick syrup and glazes the carrots, about 5-7 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter (or butter alternative). Don’t skip this step! The butter (or butter alternative) adds a sheen and rich flavor to your tsimmes.
Now, serve and kvell!
I used Honey Ridge Farms’ Blood Orange Honey Crème and Balsamic Honey Vinegar in this recipe. You may use any flavor of honey or balsamic vinegar you like. Or regular honey. And any good quality balsamic vinegar. Your tsimmes will be just as sweet and flavorful.
If using unflavored honey, such as a local honey from your favorite farmers’ market, use the suggested orange zest to brighten the flavor even more with an aromatic citrus note. The addition of orange zest is unnecessary when using the Blood Orange Honey Crème.
This recipe will make about 6 servings as a side dish. Feel free to double it if you’ve got guests for your holiday celebration. The timing should not be affected, but you will want to use a larger 6-8 quart pot.
Make it easy on yourself and cook the tsimmes a day or two in advance! Just transfer to a suitable sealed container and refrigerate. Reheat gently on your cooktop on low, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or till heated-through. You can also reheat it in the microwave, covered loosely, for 5-6 minutes, stopping midway to stir gently.
Wishing you a Happy and Sweet New Year!
The Blood Orange Honey Crème and Balsamic Honey Vinegar were gifts from my friends at Honey Ridge Farms. This is not a sponsored post, but I love their products and find all sorts of different uses for them. All opinions, recipes, text, and photographs are my own and original to RJ Flamingo and her real-life alter-ego, and are copyrighted materials, not to be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author. Links contained in this post and elsewhere on the blog may be affiliate links to my Amazon store. If you start here and buy anything on Amazon, I get a small commission. This does not increase your price, but does help me pay my web host. And buy food. Thank you for your support!