When Rosh Hashanah the Jewish new year rolls around, sugar, and specifically honey, often is on the menu. It's a kind of edible prayer, a hopeful way of attracting sweet things to one's life in the year to come.

That's why this salad is based on a sweet vegetable the carrot and flavored with honey and dates.

But you don't have to celebrate Rosh Hashanah to love this recipe.

Refreshing and simple to prepare, it's a great and healthy end-of-summer treat no matter what your faith.

Grated Carrot Salad with Dates andPistachios

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon paprika, sweet, hot or smoked, or a combination

1 teaspoon honey

1 pound carrots

cup chopped pitted dates (about 4 whole)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

cup shelled natural pistachios, walnuts or almonds, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon shredded fresh mint

In a small skillet over medium-low, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until they turn a shade darker and become fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the paprika and the honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, coarsely grate the carrots, preferably using the coarse grating disk on a food processor.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the cooled oil-cumin mixture, the dates, lemon juice, pistachios and salt, using your hands to incorporate the dates. Stir in the mint just before serving.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows.

She currently stars in public television's "Sara's Weeknight Meals" and has written three cookbooks, including "Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners."