Grad school is currently taking over my life, so I spent Passover writing a lengthy paper instead of enjoying a lengthy meal. Still, I don't plan on letting my favorite Jewish holiday slide by unnoticed. Today I'm making belated haroset.
If there's one dish I look forward to every 14th day of Nisan, it's haroset – a delicious Jewish "fruit salsa," with diced apples, dried fruit, nuts and wine. Like every other food in the Seder meal, the dish carries meaning (and it's not about Mexican influence on ancient Jewish culture). Haroset traditionally represents the mortar that the Jews used to build the pyramids while enslaved in Egypt. The beige-ish color may be similar, but I guarantee the taste is far better.
At my family's Seder, haroset was eaten throughout the meal, scooped up with matzoh "chips" for an appetizer, or eaten alongside lamb. While the dinner is timed to correspond with the reading of the Haggadah, and dishes are brought out at specific points, the haroset always transcended the courses. It was too good to be relegated to a single offering.
The holiday has passed, and its sad that I missed all of the other courses this year – even the bitter herbs and gefilte fish (the former a symbol for Jewish suffering, the latter a cause). But true to tradition, I plan on enjoying haroset whenever it suits the mood.
Spiegel Family Haroset (serves 4-8)
2 large (underlined) McIntosh apples
1/2 C currants
1/2 C walnuts, chopped coarse
1/2 C almonds, chopped coarse
1/2 C pitted dates, chopped
1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon
dash – 1 tsp ground ginger
1/4-1/3 C port (at least a $15 bottle, no $4 dreck), or more to taste
- Quarter, peel and core the apples, then chop them coarsely.
- Combine ingredients, then stir in the wine. Add more to taste – our family liked a juicy haroset. Es gezunterheyt!