Tsimmes with lemon, ginger, and molasses

April 19, 2010 at 10:43 pm (B plus (3 stars, like a lot), breakfast, Fall recipes, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Root vegetables, Starches, Vegetable dishes, Winter recipes)

In my pantry I found a huge bottle of molasses with just 1 tablespoon of molasses still loitering at the bottom.  I was trying to figure out how to use it up (freeing up pantry space), when I spied one last sweet potato leftover from a big winter sweet-potato push.  I had a bunch of carrots that Derek bought yesterday at the Turkish market, and so I decided to make tsimmes.  I was never a fan of tsimmes as a kid, so I didn’t want to follow a traditional recipe.  Instead I created a more modern take, inspired by the orange-ginger sweet potatoes we made for passover and a honey and lemon glazed carrot recipe I used to make from the AMA cookbook.


  • 12 ounces peeled, end-trimmed carrots
  • 1 pound peeled sweet potato
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 very long strips of lemon zest, from one lemon (you can use as much zest as you can get off)
  • 1 ounce crystallized ginger (maybe 3 Tbs. unchopped?)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. blackstrap molasses
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2/3 tsp. kosher salt


  1. Cut the carrots and sweet potato into equal-sized pieces.  I roll cut my veggies to get reasonable sized chunks with lots of surface area.  The chunks were about 1.25 inches long and a little smaller than an inch in width.
  2. Use your vegetable peeler to take long strips of zest off your lemon.
  3. In a 3-quart casserole pan add the butter and olive oil and heat over medium until the butter is foaming.  Add the lemon zest and crystallized ginger and saute briefly.  Add the white wine, lemon juice, molasses, water, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to mix then add the carrots.  Turn the heat to medium-low.  Saute covered for about 5? minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat.  Cook for another 15? minutes, stirring halfway.

I really liked this dish.  I thought it offered almost as much deliciousness as Peter Berley’s candied sweet potato recipes while offering a little more nutrition, and maybe less sugar and fewer calories.  (I’ll have to check the stats though.)  I’m normally not a fan of the carrots in tsimmes but this one was great.  Next time I’d try using fresh ginger rather than candied, and I might try adding a few (traditional) prunes.  But basically I thought the recipes worked really well.

Derek said he really liked the crystallized ginger and the flavors worked well–a nice dish.  He said it was a little monotone visually but “some people like that”.  He didn’t think it looked very appetizing, especially after a day in the fridge.  He thought it took on a grayish tint.  Earlier, however, he had said that he liked that you couldn’t tell which pieces were sweet potato and which were carrot until you bit into it.

Rating: B+

Derek: B+


  1. Passover 2013 | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] Main course:  spinach matzoh pie  and tsimmes […]

  2. What to do with a lot of lemon or lime zest? | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] sweet potatoes, in lemon ginger tsimmes or key lime sweet […]

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