On Rosh Hashana it is traditional to eat simanim - different symbolic foods that represent our prayers for the coming new year. Many families have a simanim course at the beginning of the meal filled with different dishes made of these foods.
When I was growing up my family didn’t do the simanim thing. I remember having the usual apple and honey to symbolize our request for a sweet year and pomegranate so that our merits will be increased like the multitude of seeds in a the fruit.
The first time I spent Rosh Hashana apart from my family was when I was seventeen years old and I was studying in Israel for a year. I spent Rosh Hashana with people from all different backgrounds and I learned about the different simanim that people eat.
One of the symbolic foods that was is traditionally eaten by Syrian Jews and now by Jews from all different backgrounds is black eyed peas. In Aramaic the word for black eyed peas is rubiya which is like the hebrew word harbay which means abundance.
This black eyed pea salad is so simple to prepare and has such bright flavors that you should eat it all year round and not just when celebrating the new year.
Black Eyed Pea Salad
2 15. oz cans black eyed peas, drained (if you have the time to cook dry beans do it!)
1 avocado, diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/4 of a red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (leave the seeds in if you like things spicy!)
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss all the ingredients together and enjoy!