Thursday, April 5, 2007

Sephardic Charoset

Charoset, a mixture of chopped fruits and nuts, symbolized the mortar used by the Israelite slaves in Egypt. Recipes vary greatly, depending on the family's country of origin. My family is decidedly Ashkenazi (Eastern European), but Sephardic (Mediterranean and Asian) flavors really perk up otherwise bland Passover food. You can use this condiment like a chutney, and it would be good with roasted meat – lamb – or poultry.

2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
2/3 cup Mission figs (6 oz.)
2/3 dried apricots (6 oz.)
2/3 cup golden raisins (6 oz.)
1 1/3 cups walnuts, finely chopped, toasted and cooled
1/4 cup sweet red wine (sweet Passover wines are good to use)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Place the apples in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the figs, apricots, raisins and pulse all until finely chopped.
  2. Transfer fruit mixture to a bowl. Add walnuts and wine and mix well. Sprinkle cinnamon and ginger over top and mix again well.
Makes about 3 cups. Can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.

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