A Tzimmes (pronounced “tzimess”) is a Jewish stew usually made with sweet potatoes, carrots, dried fruit and sometimes meat. This is a much lighter and easier version. It is completely vegetarian and pareve (neutral for milk and meat dishes) and is the perfect side dish for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I think it’s fun to have ethnic dishes, in this case, Jewish dishes, on the traditional American Thanksgiving table. The Tzimmes can be prepared several days in advance and reheated the day of the holiday or it can be made in a flash two hours before the feast. I’ve used cranberries to keep it festive and some lemon juice to keep it light. They give a nice balance to the hint of brown sugar and the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Have a great Thanksgiving!
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, halved then sliced
3 cups peeled and sliced butternut squash (I use the pre-peeled and cut found in the supermarket)
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
1 Tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbls. lemon juice
2 Tbls. buttery spread (to make dish pareve) (You can also use butter but dish will not be pareve)
Sprinkle of salt
Several shakes of pumpkin spice (optional)
2 Tbls. brown sugar (1-2 more Tbls. can be added if you like it sweeter)
½ cup water
- Place sweet potatoes, squash and carrots into medium size pot; cover veggies with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, adding the cranberries at the 7 minute mark; remove from heat when veggies are tender but not mushy. Drain and cool.
- In a 9 X 13” baking dish, start the first layer veggies and cranberries, then sprinkle with half of the lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pumpkin spice if using; then dot the veggies with half of the buttery spread; repeat with final layer of veggies and remaining half of the other ingredients. Lastly, add water and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350° F for 50 minutes; check to see that squash is tender; if needed, continue baking another 10 minutes.