Salmon and potatoes on a blue dish
Orange-Honey Roast Salmon (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Honey in savory dishes: salmon, Brussels sprouts, carrots

Honey not only celebrates our wish for a sweet New Year, but it also adds an intriguing note to savory foods. It tempers the zing of Orange-Honey Roast Salmon, which can be served warm or at room temperature as either a first or main course. Honey mellows the tang of mustard in the Mustard-Honey Brussels Sprouts, and it complements the Near Eastern spices in Honey-Roasted Carrots with Lentils, which can be served as a side dish or a vegetarian main course. For more honey-based recipes for Rosh Hashanah, see my previous column.

Orange-Honey Roast Salmon

Serves 6-8 as first course, 3-4 as main course

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne or paprika
  • ½ tsp. crumbled dried mint
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1½ lbs. salmon fillet
  • Oil for baking dish
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions

Mix juice, honey, salt, cayenne, mint and pepper. Marinate salmon for 30-60 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking dish. Put in salmon skin side down. Baste with marinade. Roast 10 minutes, then baste again. Continue roasting 5-10 minutes or as needed until salmon is cooked to desired doneness.

While salmon finishes, bring remaining marinade to boil in a small pot, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and simmer, stirring often, until liquid is reduced by 2/3. Spoon sauce over fish. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mustard-Honey Brussels Sprouts

Serves 6-8

  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1-2 Tbs. sesame seeds or “everything bagel” seed mix
a white bowl of cooked brussels sprouts
Mustard-Honey Brussels Sprouts (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Trim sprouts and cut in half from top to stem end. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sauté until golden. Add sprouts, sauté, stirring occasionally, until cut sides are browned, adding more oil if needed. Stir in salt.

Mix together mustard, soy sauce and water. Stir into sprouts until coated. Sauté until sprouts are cooked through. Stir in paprika and honey. Remove from heat. Serve warm or room temperature sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Honey-Roasted Carrots with Lentils

Serves 4 as main course, 8 as side dish

  • Cooked lentils (see below)
  • 1 lb. whole small carrots (or large carrots cut in thirds)
  • 1 cup honey (or see silan variation below)
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne or paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus extra for pan
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1-2 Tbs. tahini paste or sauce
  • 2 Tbs. chopped mint

Have lentils at room temperature. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Peel carrots. Mix honey, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, cloves, water, oil and juice in bowl or dish large enough to fit carrots. Stir in carrots until coated.

Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Grease paper with oil. Place carrots in single layer on pan. Lower heat to 400 degrees. Roast, turning and basting occasionally, until tender and browned.

Mix remaining marinade with lentils. Place in large serving dish, top with warm or room temperature roasted carrots and sprinkle with coarse salt, drizzle with the tahini and top with fresh herbs.

Cooked lentils: Combine 1 cup small green lentils with 3 cups of water or broth and ¼ tsp. each ground black pepper, ground cumin and paprika. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in ½ cup chopped fennel, ½ cup chopped onion, 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic and 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh jalapeño (optional). Bring back to a simmer. Cover and keep at simmer until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed. Taste and add ¼ tsp. salt or to taste.

Silan variation: Silan, also known as date honey, date syrup or date molasses, was the honey most often referenced in the Torah and is available in Middle Eastern and specialty markets. It adds a little less sweetness and a bit more complexity to the dish. It is also suitable for vegans. To use, just substitute 1 cup silan for 1 cup honey.

carrots on a pan
(Photo/Faith Kramer)
Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].