Charoset, a Symbolic Passover Dish

in Dips & Dressings,Holidays,Sides,Sweet Treats

Charoset  comes from the word cheres in Hebrew which means clay. It is a sweet dark colored paste made of fruits, nuts, spices, and sweet wine, eaten to honor the enslaved Israelites who used mortar to make bricks to build the Egyptian pharaohs buildings.

Charoset is one of my favorite dishes during the Jewish Spring festival that represents the abundance and deliciousness of the fruits in bloom and the sweetness that Charoset brings to the celebration of Passover. There are many ways to make it depending upon the country. I prefer it made a bit chunky rather than pasty. Below, I have described, 3 of my favorite recipes:

Mirenna’s Favorite ┬áCharoset, a New England recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups finely diced apple of your choice (try a jazz apple, crisp, juicy, and both sweet and tart)
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (roasted adds a nutty flavor)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sweet red wine (Manischewitz or even Port)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional, depending on sweetness of apples)

Here’s How:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir and chill. You can chop the apples and walnuts in a food processor but use the pulse button and do not over chop.

Turkish Variation:

  • 1/2 cup whole pitted medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup calimyrna figs, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts (filberts) chopped
  • 1/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • Sprinkle of fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup sweet red wine (Manischewitz or Port)

Here’s How:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir and chill. Or use a food processor and pulse each item separately, remove and place in a bowl to stir at the end. This way the mixture will not get mushy.

Iranian Variation:

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 cups finely diced apples of your choice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sweet red wine
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • a dash of ground red pepper or cayenne

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Roast hazelnuts for approximately 10 minutes. Turn nuts out onto a clean dish towel, fold the towel and rub off the skins.
  3. Chop nuts when cool and continue to chop all of the ingredients and place in a bowl.
  4. Add seasonings, stir and chill.