Charoset — a mix of fruit, nuts, and wine meant to remind us of the mortar the Israelite slaves used in their building — is one of the essential symbolic foods eaten at the Passover Seder. Giora Shimoni's Israeli charoset is like a crossover between Ashkenazi and Sephardi-style recipes. His mixes the apples and walnuts often found in Eastern European charoset with bananas, raisins, almonds and pistachios --ingredients that show up in various Sephardi or Mizrachi versions. Customize the texture to suit your taste. Shimoni says his wife "prefers to process lightly so that the fruit and nuts keep some shape...but the kids do prefer my saucier mixture."
Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips:
If like Shimoni's wife, you prefer a more textured charoset, you can skip the food processor and make the recipe by hand. Finely chop all of the ingredients with a large, sharp knife or a mezzaluna.
Many charoset recipes specify the use of a sweet wine, such as Manischewitz. But thanks to the natural sweetness of the bananas and raisins, this one works nicely with a dry red.
Not sure what to do with leftover charoset after the seders? It's a surprisingly versatile condiment. Try it with leftover turkey or meat, dolloped on fish, or spooned over quinoa for breakfast. If you set some aside to keep pareve, it's also great with toasted cheese on matzo or mixed into yogurt.
Edited by Miri Rotkovitz
- 4-5 medium apples (green Granny Smith, peeled and cored)
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2-4 tablespoons red wine
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1. In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, combine the apples, bananas, raisins and nuts. Pulse several times, scraping down the sides of the work bowl if necessary, until the charoset reaches your desired consistency. (Shimoni processes his "until the mixture resembles a lumpy paste.")
2. Transfer the fruit-nut mixture to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of wine, the orange juice, and cinnamon, and stir well to combine.
Taste the mixture, and add sugar if desired to sweeten the charoset. Add more wine, a tablespoon at a time, if you'd like to moisten the mixture and intensify the wine flavor.
3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Leftover charoset will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for 5 to 7 days.