April 1, 2009

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Serves 10

Tsimmes means a "big fuss" in Yiddish and there are many versions; some contain beef. This one is meatless, with lots of carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, and dried fruits baked with orange juice and honey, meant as a side dish. You can add a beef brisket to the pot to turn it into a main course.

1/2cup pitted prunes, halved
1/3cup dried pitted dates, halved
1/3cup figs, quartered
1/4cup each dark and golden raisins
1/4cup dried cherries
1/4cup dried apricots, halved
About 1 cup riesling wine (mixed with a little brandy, if you like), or more if needed
Vegetable oil (for the baking dish)
6carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
6sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4Bosc pears, peeled and cut into chunks
1cup orange juice
1/4cup honey
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a large bowl, combine the prunes, dates, figs, dark and golden raisins, cherries, and apricots. Add the riesling and brandy, if using. Add more wine so the liquid covers the fruits. Set aside for at least 1 hour.

2. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place the carrots, sweet potatoes, and pears in the dish and toss gently.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the orange juice and honey. Pour the mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add the dried fruits and their soaking liquid. Toss again.

4. Bake for 1 hour, spooning the cooking juices over the mixture several times. If the pan seems dry, add more orange juice. If the vegetables are not tender, continue cooking up to 1 hour more.

Adapted from Dawn LaRochelle