(From left) Grilled Whole Spicy Tomato Cauliflower,
Mustard-Garlic Grilled Chicken and Potato-Apple Skewers (Photo/Faith Kramer)
(From left) Grilled Whole Spicy Tomato Cauliflower, Mustard-Garlic Grilled Chicken and Potato-Apple Skewers (Photo/Faith Kramer)

When Jewish New Year meets Labor Day, it’s time to get your grill on

With Rosh Hashanah this year beginning at sunset on Labor Day, I’ve combined traditions for a holiday dinner cookout.

A grilled head of cauliflower celebrates the “head of the year.” Apples and honey, symbols of a sweet New Year, make their presence known in the recipe for potato-apple skewers, which are a great accompaniment to the grilled chicken with the mustard-garlic marinade.

If a grill isn’t available, you can make the cauliflower by baking it at 425 degrees after first microwaving it. The skewers and chicken can also be made in a broiler, grill pan or indoor electric grill.

Grilled Whole Spicy Tomato Cauliflower

Serves 6 to 8

  • Spicy tomato marinade (see below)
  • 1 large (2¼ lb.) cauliflower
  • Vegetable oil for grill
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley

Remove cauliflower leaves. Trim stem flat. Place in microwave-safe dish. Brush on all sides with marinade. Marinate 20 minutes. Pour ¼ cup water into dish. Tent with waxed paper. Cook in microwave on high until a fork can pierce about a quarter of the way through (6 to 12 minutes).

Grease the grill grates. Heat to medium-high. Place cauliflower stem side down. Brush with marinade. Grill 10 minutes. Flip. Brush with marinade. Grill 10 minutes. Brush all over with marinade, wrap in foil, place on grill and turn occasionally. Cauliflower is done when a fork glides through (about 20 to 40 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature sprinkled with parsley.

Spicy tomato marinade: Mix 2 Tbs. tomato paste with 1 tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. ground cumin, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. sugar, ⅛ to ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil.

Potato-Apple Skewers

Serves 6 to 8

  • Honey-lemon marinade (see below)
  • 3 lbs. baby potatoes, unpeeled
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1½ lbs. apples, unpeeled
  • 1 medium red onion cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Vegetable oil for grill
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. coarse sea salt

Place marinade in a large bowl. Have ready 14 long skewers (if bamboo, soaked in water for 30 minutes).

Keep very small potatoes intact; cut others into 1-inch pieces. Steam or microwave in water with ¼ tsp. salt until a fork can pierce about halfway through. Drain. Put in marinade.

Cut apples into 1-inch pieces (discard cores). Stir into marinade. Marinate 20 minutes.

Thread each skewer with a piece of potato followed by apple and red onion, then repeat pattern. (Should make 12 to 14 skewers.)

Grease the grill grates. Place skewers over medium-high heat. Brush with marinade. Cook 4 to 5 minutes until browned. Turn. Brush with marinade. Grill 3 to 5 minutes until potatoes and apples are soft. Serve warm or at room temperature sprinkled with sea salt.

Honey-lemon marinade: Mix together ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbs. minced garlic, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. ground black pepper and ¼ tsp. rubbed sage.

Mustard-Garlic Grilled Chicken

Serves 6 to 8

  • Mustard-garlic marinade (see below)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs or breasts on bone with skin
  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • 3 Tbs. chopped red onion

Remove 1 Tbs. marinade. Mix with 2 Tbs. oil. Set aside. Use fingers to separate skin from chicken. Rub marinade under skin. Rub remainder of marinade on both sides of chicken. Marinate 30 minutes.

Grease the grill grates. Place chicken skin side up over medium-high heat. Brush with marinade-oil mixture. Grill for 10 minutes, flip and brush again. Grill 10 minutes. Repeat as needed. Chicken is done when a cut down to the bone shows no pink but chicken is still juicy. Rest 10 minutes before serving garnished with red onion.

Mustard-garlic marinade: Place in food processor or blender ¼ cup peeled garlic cloves, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, 2 Tbs. chopped parsley, 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard, ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. ground black pepper, ¼ tsp. dried powdered mustard and ¼ tsp. paprika. Process into a coarse paste.

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 faithkramer.com. Contact her at [email protected].