With the end of summer comes Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish celebration of the new year. In my book, Rosh Hashanah is the high holy day (my sister and and I call it a “high challah-day”) that also gives us licence to demolish as much honey-smeared bread as you'd like. As is the case with most Jewish holidays, the foods served during traditional meals tend to bring significant historical and spiritual meaning—many dishes on the table slant sweet, intended to symbolize hope for a sweet new year. After the first Rosh Hashanah dinner, it’s typical for hosts to find their kitchens absolutely overflowing with leftovers. Luckily, when it comes to sweet dishes, serving them the next morning for breakfast is a no-brainer.
Alessandra Altieri Lopez, director of Bouchon Bakeries, knows their honey bundt cake is a staple dessert in many New York homes after a Rosh Hashanah dinner. But there’s no reason the orange and coffee-scented cake couldn’t be brought out again the following morning. “I personally love a slice of it for breakfast,” Lopez says.
On the subject of repurposing leftovers from a memorable meal, Lopez’s main piece of advice is to add at least one new element to avoid feeling like you’re just reheating last night’s dinner. Take brisket, for example. The roast is often prepared on Jewish holidays, and leftovers last for days. Lopez thinks the best way to treat the tender meat (and any vegetables roasted along with it) for breakfast is to turn it into fried rice. She also recommending shredding the meat and tossing it into a quiche.
When it comes to challah, leftover options are especially plentiful. There’s French toast and bread pudding, of course. There’s also strata, the eggy, bready, cheesy casserole. And croutons! You haven’t lived until you’ve toasted giant chunks of challah in a pan with butter and then poured them over a kale salad. Just saying. Of course, challah also makes excellent sandwich bread, and it’s just as good as housing layers of peanut butter and jelly as it is bacon, eggs, and cheese. As for Lopez, she goes for another breakfast classic, toad in a hole. After frying the egg inside the cutout piece of toast, Lopez recommends you “spread a little bit more butter on the top of the toast, top it with some sliced avocado, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a few cracks of black pepper.”