Sweet Potato Pear Tzimmes with Pecans and Raisins

Quick and easy is the theme.  And by quick, I don't necessarily mean "takes no time," just "takes no time to prepare."  So roasting a big pan full of sweet potatoes and pears for an hour still qualifies, because the prep time is mere minutes.  On days like these, when I feel guilty for so much as thinking about anything besides this seminar paper (two more days to go!) I tend to just want to throw ingredients together and eat them all day long, no matter if it's a side dish meant to serve six.  Although I realize variety in the diet is important, sometimes I don't necessarily require it every day.  I figure if I've eaten lots of different whole foods throughout the week, that counts.  Justification?  Maybe.  But we're not huge on leftovers here, so we tend to make one thing and finish it.

This recipe comes, again, from my beloved Veganomicon.  If, for some crazy and inexplicable reason I have not yet convinced you to go get this book, here's one more plug.  Every time I open this book I find something I want to make.  And every time it's wonderful.  These recipes appease even the most staunch meat-eater (R), they're creative and they're wonderful.  

Moskowitz admits that this dish could just as easily be called "roasted sweet potatoes and pear" but she sticks with tzimmes.  According to Marc Bouchard in an 2007 article, Tzimmes go back to the Jewish communities of Central Europe, where they tended to be root-vegetable stews simmered in a sweet sauce.  Fresh or dried fruits are often added, in this case fresh pears and raisins.  However, this preparation is not really a stew in the soup sense, but a sheet full of baked fruits and veggies.  If that sounds good to you (and it does to me!) this would also make an excellent Thanksgiving side dish.

Sweet Potato Pear Tzimmes with Pecans and Raisins

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
3 firm bartlett pears, seeded and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup raisin

Oven preheated to 350

On a large, rimmed baking sheet, place the sweet potato and pear cubes.  Sprinkle with the rest of the ingredients, reserving the raisins, and gently mix it up so that everything is well coated.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil, add the raisins, mix it all up a little bit, and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, uncovered.  Serve!

*     *     *

I'm sending this off to Mansi at Fun and Food Cafe for her Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipe Carnival!  I thought this dish was just delicious and would make a lovely addition to any Thanksgiving table!


Yoli said…
My mouth is watering. Oh my I can only imagine how good this tastes. Girl you are going to make a cook out of me.
Maia said…
Again, beautifully-orchestrated. Your eye for color and layout is very natural.

Thanks for your sweet words. We are a very lucky family, all of us.

I lived in NYC for six years before moving to Colorado again...I was actually born in Woodstock, upstate. AS for the handmade toys...my mother still has some of them stored in her Woodstock attic! Just waiting to be unearthed for QQ when we have time to pay a visit! I look forward to that day...
denver native said…
you don't have to feel guilty - you have to eat! and you are doing it the right way - it beats driving thru a fast food place - you inspire me!
Anonymous said…
I love your interpretation of tzimmes. I'm used to the kind with prunes and short ribs, but this looks great!
Snooky doodle said…
what an interesting recipe :)
Unknown said…
It sure makes a wonderful addition to my event Andrea! I love the way you've paired the ingredients - looks rustic and all set for holiday entertaining!:)
Unknown said…
pear and sweet potatoes, what an unusual combination. i'm intrigued to try this out, andrea. and good luck for your wedding next year :) wish you all the best.
Anonymous said…
Yum! Those bowls are also gorgeous!
Anonymous said…
I whole-heartedly agree...if it's a side dish, and really good, who cares if I eat it for all 3 meals for the next 2 days? It's still good...
Anonymous said…
Honestly, "variety" is over-rated. I think it's much healthier if you just go through with one thing at a time (and, if you care, we eat way more if we're presented with a huge variety of foods to choose from). I've never heard of Veganomicon, so thanks for the tip. I'll check it out!
Angela said…
I also love dishes that are big on flavor and small on prep. This one looks wonderful, and so festive. Thanks for the tip on the book; it sounds terrific!
Sam said…
It looks really good and I love your photos.
Anonymous said…
Looks like I delicious treat I wouldn't refuse! Yum!
Andrea said…
Yoli, thanks for the nice comment! I hope you'll try this one out!

QiuQiu's parents, I look forward to seeing QiuQiu enjoying her heirloom toys! I never really get to upstate because I don't have a car so it's hard to get off the island!

Denver Native, true, no fast food places for us!

Hillary, prunes and short ribs! That sounds delicious as well!

Snooky Doodle, they are unexpected flavors, but they work together!

Mansi, thanks for hosting! I'm sure it will be a great event.

Arfi, thank you! I'd never heard of pears and sweet potatoes either, but they really did work together!

Chrissy, you should know! You gave them to me ;-)

Hanne, I'd never thought of it that way, but you're probably right. Thanks for being on my side :-)

Angela, it's one of my favorite books ever, and I'm not even a vegetarian!

Thanks Sam!

Thank you for your nice comment, Farida!

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