Thursday, April 9, 2009

Passover Seder: Haroset & Macaroons



Passover is such an interesting food holiday for Jewish culture.
It is a time when you don't eat bread. You eat matzoh (you know, the dried out cardboard?) instead.

This is because when the slaves were fleeing Egypt, they didn't have time to pack up, therefore no time for the yeast to rise......so we eat unleavened bread.

Moses led the pack out of Egypt, so Jews eat matzoh to signify their freedom.

Each part of the seder plate signifies something from that beautiful story.
This is the very short version.



There is a shank bone on the seder plate (signifies the sacrificial lamb), a hard boiled egg (signifies mourning), bitter herbs & salt water to dip (signifies the toil & tears)..........and haroset (which I always make!), is a combination of apples, sweet wine and nuts. Haroset signifies the mortar used by the slaves to layer the bricks in Egypt.

It is such a wonderful story and the 4 questions are usually asked by the youngest child at the table.

My friend Deborah had her annual seder with 40 people.



She invites Jewish and non Jewish friends, and everyone participates.
Kids, teenagers, neighbors, grandparents, and colleagues. It's a lot of fun, and the menu is lengthy.

The food is delicious.

I am glad we only do this once a year! The story says "on this night we shall recline", and they aren't kidding.

Here is my recipe for Haroset. It is more of a Sephardic, Middle Eastern version with different nuts and dried fruits, unlike traditional haroset (also spelled haroseth & charoset).

It is absolutely delicious.
I always say each year "why don't I make this all year long? It would be a great appetizer, and great on a turkey sandwich!".
But, I never do. It wouldn't be as special, if I did.



Stacey's Haroset: (makes enough for 20 people)

two 10 oz. containers of pitted Medjool or California dates, roughly chopped
10 oz. of raw or blanched almonds, roughly chopped
10 oz. (I use the date container to measure the nuts!) of walnuts, roughly chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled
1/4 cup of toasted pignoli (pine) nuts (or chopped pistachio nuts)

1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1 tsp of powdered ginger
1/2 tsp of ground black pepper (gives it a nice spicey flavor!)
1/4 cup or more of sweet Passover wine (I have had the same bottle of Manischewitz for like 6 years!....it never goes bad!)

In a large mixing bowl, mix your chopped, dates and all of your chopped nuts together.
Add the dried spices and grate the two apples with a box grater into the bowl.

Add your wine slowly and see how much you like. You only need enough to bind the fruit and nut mixture, you don't want any liquid remaining in the bowl.



I also made chocolate covered coconut macaroons. Click on the link for the recipe.
Easy and delicious!



29 comments:

Randi Lynne said...

I have never participated in a Jewish meal. Sounds like a very rich experience.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Your recipes look terrific for any time of year - not just Passover. I went to my first Seder last year and I was very moved by all the readings, the cameraderie, the sharing and the sense of family.

doggybloggy said...

one day I hope to attend a Seder....

Bob said...

I used to go to a Seder at a friends house when I was a kid. It was always a good time, but all I was interested in was the haroset and the matzo ball soup that his grandmother made with schmaltz. Man was that soup good...

kat said...

I've never been to a Seder either but it certainly looks like your friend has quite the set up!

StaceyEsq said...

What a lovely (and informative) post! You're so right about the Manischewitz wine . . . it really never does go bad! Enjoy the holiday and thanks for the wonderful Passover recipes!

LaDue & Crew said...

Looks so good! I've only been to Passover Seders when I was living in NY as a kid... I've never found anyone out here to participate with :-(

Dana said...

I grew up in an extremely secular Jewish family and the only way we celebrated Passover is if we were invited somewhere. Now that I am an adult (and married to a non-Jew), I miss celebrating this lovely holiday. You are lucky to participate with friends and they are lucky to eat this delicious looking haroset!

Maria said...

What a fun event and the macaroons look terrific!

melissa said...

I used to love haroset and have all but forgotten it. Thanks for the nostalgia.

Jennifer said...

That kind of looks like my family parties! There are about 60 in the immediate family, so we have big tables like that!

What a nice tradition, I learned some things I didn't know your dish looks great!

Patsyk said...

Stace - your charoset and macaroons look wonderful! Now that's quite a crowd to celebrate Passover, and I'm sure it's always a lot of fun!

Phyllis said...

Excellent Passover post!

I just bookmarked your haroset recipe - looks delicious.

I have so much still to learn about Jewish food...I hope one day someone invites me to a Seder meal(I didn't know that non-Jewish people could be invited).

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I am not Jewish, but I had the pleasure of being invited to a Seder. I loved every minute of it, and the food was wonderful.
This looks quite fabulous...
I love macaroons, and these are beautiful. Actually, both recipes captured my mental taste buds.

You are a baker, you know! Admit it, would you?

Justine said...

i love Haroset and am having my mom make some this weekend :) i love the idea of adding pignoli and dates!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oh, I'm sure you all had a feast, how fun! Someday I would like to experience a Seder. I'd love to try your haroset, I like the addition of black pepper too.
Happy Passover my friend!!

Cate said...

Sounds like an awesome annual event! I've been looking for "the" recipe for macaroons ... trying yours next - thanks!

Teanna said...

I was just introduced to Haroseth two years ago for my first passover dinner with my boyfriend's family and it is my FAVORITE THING EVER! The past two nights, all I could think about was eating Haroseth! I want to eat it year round! I am TOTALLY trying your recipe, I want to learn to make it myself.

Oh, and those macaroons look AWESOME!

" FUSHIGI " said...

Macaroons and a cup of ristretto espresso...everyday should be Passavor.
Beautyfull indeed!
Thanks

The Japanese Redneck said...

How very interesting. Thanks for explaining the symbolism and meanings of the seder plate.

I like the Haroset recipe. I've never had it, but it looks good.

Being from the deep South, I don't have any exposure to the Jewish culture. Thanks for enlightening me and broadening my knowledge.

Ilva said...

Wish I had been invited too! That Haroset of yours is beautiful, I just wonder as the ignoramus I am, what is Passover wine like? Do you know of any Italian equivalent?

Pulisha said...

Hi Stacey,

I'm so glad I discovered your blog. I used your Haroset recipe for my Seder this year, and my Catholic Hubby (who begrudingly lets me have one for our kids so long as we have a nice big Easter meal two days later!) absolutely loved it. Thanks for sharing!

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Stace! I just got back into town. Lots of catching up to do. Love love love your seder post, I am hoping you will send a photo over to me to put in my upcoming Passover Round-up. Hope you are having a great Passover holiday.
Lori Lynn

Mike Licht said...

I sent the Obamas my Bubbe's special Passover macaroon recipe:

1. Open can.
2. Serve.
3. Eat.

See

http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/moses-and-macaroons/

Culinary Wannabe said...

40 people! What a brave friend! And a beautiful set up to boot!

OhioMom said...

I had to come over from Lori's seder dinner and see how to make this dish, the haroset is new to me .. I definitely want to try this.

freefun0616 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

Anonymous said...

Researching recipes for Haroset and was totally stoked to find yours. Looks amazing and delicious, can't wait to make it. Signed up for email posts!