Celebrate Tu B'Shvat - Seder Style!

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Jamie Geller
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White Chocolate Bark

Tu B’Shvat higia is the refrain of the popular Israeli children’s song, meaning, Tu B’Shvat is here, YAY! and this year the celebration begins on January 20th 2011.

This holiday celebrates the “rebirth” of the trees. Tu B’Shvat marks the beginning of the slow process when the trees begin blossoming and flowering with new life and new fruit.

Some have the tradition to eat something from all of the seven species – wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates – that have a special significance in Judaism.

You know how on Pesach we sit down to a seder? Well, there is a Tu B’Shvat seder too! Tu B’Shvat seders are uber en vogue these days, really! Four cups of wine are also served up, along with foods made from the seven species and other uncommon fruits. A Tu B’Shvat seder is a wonderful way to celebrate this holiday – and you can make your own rules!!

Now, for some yummy Tu B’Shvat recipes. This “Biblically Inspired Salad du Jour” incorporates each of the seven species and is sure to please the palate. Cooking with fruit is the way to go on this holiday – so how about sweetening your main with my Veal Stew with Apricots and Prunes? Serve up the stew with a side of Bulgur with Carrots, Nuts and Dates to continue the seven species theme. And wrap it all up with this delish Maple Walnut Chiffon Cake which incorporates dates (part of those sevens species) and my new recipe for White Chocolate Bark. This one combines raisins, dried figs (another one of the seven), nuts and chocolate, into an elegant and tasty treat.

veal-stew-with-apricots-and-prunes-168

Make sure to also serve up a lovely platter of dried fruit and nuts at your Tu’Bshvat Seder.

Some other dishes sure to add both significance and enjoyment to your Tu B’Shvat meal: Date and Fig Bars, Stuffed Baked Apples, Pomegranate Braised Brisket, Spinach and Mushroom Barley Pilaf, Chicken Couscous Salad with Grapes, Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives.