Tu Bishvat Oatmeal with Dried Fig and Cherry Compote
Plus, Pre-order Portico: Cooking & Feasting in Rome's Jewish Kitchen (25% off)!
I was delighted to see that a bunch of new folks subscribed to The Jewish Table this week. Welcome, I’m so glad you’re here! If you feel inspired (and no worries if not), feel free to introduce yourself in the comments.
I’ve got a Tu Bishvat inspired breakfast recipe for you below. Think: a sweet, cinnamon and orange-scented, dried fruit compote that transforms a humdrum bowl of oatmeal into something worth celebrating. But before we get to all that, I am beyond thrilled to announce that…
…You can now preorder my cookbook (and get 25% off)!
The long-awaited moment has arrived. My latest cookbook Portico: Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen isn’t officially out until next fall, but pre-order sales are live! And from today through Friday, if you order your copy from Barnes & Noble and enter the code “PREORDER25” at checkout, you will receive 25% off the cover price. (You can preorder it from other shops too, but I can’t guarantee a discount.)
Preorders are incredibly important for book sales these days. They help book sellers know which titles are “hot” and which books to prioritize in their internal marketing efforts. So if you were thinking about buying the book next fall, I’d be so grateful if you considered ordering it now. That way, you’ll give a nice boost to the pre-order count - and you’ll get a surprise in the mail on August 29, when the book officially hits shelves.
I will be sharing tons of recipe sneak peeks and other newsletter exclusives in the weeks and months to come. But in the meantime here are some of the glimpses of Portico: Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen that I’ve already shared:
Behind the Scenes: Sukkot in Rome
Behind the Scenes at a Roman Jewish Cookbook Photo Shoot
Behind the Scenes: Cacio e Pepe Dandelion Greens
Okay! Switching gears from the cookbook excitement, Tu Bishvat is right around the corner (Feb 5-6). Commonly called Jewish Arbor Day or the Jewish Holiday for the Trees, Tu Bishvat is an annual holiday focused on all things related to the majestic, life-giving, awe-inspiring trees that live and breathe just outside of our windows.
One of my favorite aspects to celebrating Tu Bishvat is the tradition of consuming the fruits and nuts that grow on trees. According to kabbalistic practice, there are three primary categories of tree-grown produce. The first includes fruits that are edible on the outside but have an inedible pit or stone (so, cherries, peaches, plums, dates, olives, and the like). The second category has an inedible outside but a soft and edible inside (bananas, walnuts, pistachios, oranges). And the third category is edible all the way through (blueberries, figs, raspberries).
I love thinking about how each of these categories symbolically corresponds to an emotion, a vibe, and an aspect of humanity. As we eat these fruits on Tu Bishvat, we are reminded to think about the places in our own lives, and in our own bodies, where we are soft, flexible, tender - and also where we are fixed, stone-like, immovable. And just like cooking these tree fruits involves the acts of pruning away, digging in, and applying warmth and flavor, so do we have the opportunity to coax ourselves towards something beautiful - even on the days we feel most stuck.
What a great holiday, huh?!
If you were already a newsletter subscriber this time last year, you may remember the Showstopping Citrus Salad recipe I shared in advance of Tu Bishvat (pictured above). If not, here’s a reminder:
I will definitely be making the citrus salad - which makes glorious use of many tree fruits - again this year. But I’ve also been on a real oatmeal in the morning kick. I’m always seeing gorgeously dressed up bowls of oatmeal on Instagram, and got to thinking how I could put a Tu Bishvat spin on that.
Since fruit compotes are already a fixture of Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, I developed a compote made from cherries (edible outside/inedible pit) and figs (edible all the way through), and flavored with orange juice and zest (inedible peel/edible inside) that ticks all of the holiday’s the symbolic boxes, and makes me look forward to that morning bowl of oatmeal even more.
Won’t you join me for Tu Bishvat breakfast?
Please note: This week’s recipe is for paid subscribers only. The next all subscriber recipe is coming in two weeks. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on a recipe or a story, consider switching to a paid subscription today!
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