Here’s to the haters.

The haters of gefilte fish, cloyingly sweet noodle kugel, dry brisket and tzimmes that sits in your stomach from Rosh Hashanah all the way through Yom Kippur.

No offense to Tevye (“Tradition!”) or Bubbe, but for 5778, we’re accepting their challenge and ringing in the new year with lighter, more modern fare. Staples of the Mediterranean diet star in the Italian tuna loaf with a bright sauce that’s standing in for the gefilte fish that always goes untouched and the regal pound cake that’s enhanced with the Israeli favorite, tahini. Kugel and brisket, while still rich (How could they not be?), get a touch of veggies. Local, seasonal produce shines in a modern tzimmesin an apple crisp and crostada, both of which can be made vegan, and in a festive cocktail. And instead of boiled chicken or stewed meat, try roast chicken pieces with carrots, dates and pistachios or lamb meatballs over quinoa.

So here’s to the haters, for challenging us to come up with new, better alternatives for the High Holidays. And here’s to everyone else, who gets to start off the new year on an especially delicious note.

L’shanah tovah u’metukah! 

Polpettone di Tonno (Tuna Loaf) with Horseradish Green Sauce
Marcia Friedman
Author, Meatballs and Matzah Balls
  Spinach Ricotta Kugel
Amy Brandwein
Chef and owner, Centrolina
Roasted Carrot and Sweet Potato Tzimmes
Amelia Saltsman
Author, The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen and The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook
Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken with Carrots, Dates and Pistachios
Jennifer Segal
Chef and blogger, Once Upon a Chef
  Lamb Meatballs with Quinoa and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Ype Von Hengst
Co-founder and executive chef, Silver Diner and Silver New American Brasserie
  Beef Brisket with Roasted Corn Salsa
Kerry Brian Tate
Executive chef, Tyber Creek Wine Bar and Kitchen
Tahini and Honey Cake
Vered Guttman
Food columnist, Haaretz.com, and caterer, Cardamom & Mint
Dutch Apple and Honey Crostada
Lauren Katz
Winner of ABC’s The Great Holiday Baking Show
  Apple Berry Crisp
Doron Petersan
Owner, Sticky Fingers Bakery and Fare Well
  That Rye Nectar
Denise Petty
Tasting room manager, Catoctin Creek Distilling Company