Friday, March 19, 2010

haroset

haroset

All right folks, this will be short and sweet here. Work’s been crazy and I am actually writing this to you on my lunch break – the nerve. I keep trying to sit down and put my thoughts together, but there’s just so much to do during the day and after work, that by the time I get home, I’m a bit spent. I also need to apologize for these hideous photos. The night I took these – my photo mojo was seriously off. I tried so many different angles, lighting options, camera settings, and in the end, it just wasn’t happening. I had to accept the fact that on some nights, your photos will look disgusting. Like these.

However, what’s exciting is that Passover is right around the corner. I like to think of Passover as sort of a Jewish Thanksgiving of sorts. Done right – you have amazing food, memorable meals with family and friends and an opportunity to get a little creative in the kitchen with all the holiday dietary restrictions. It’s a challenge to get so creative that you wind up not missing chametz, or the “forbidden” foods. And with all the cooking to be done for the holiday week, this dish should be the least of your worries. It practically makes itself and it’s also incredibly delicious. Make lots because everyone will want to spoon some on the side of the plate and kids will be eating double that. Allowed to sit overnight, the flavor meld better and develop. Ideally, you’d make this ahead.

haroset

The traditional Ashkenazi haroset is little more than apples, walnuts and honey with a few other ingredients, all mixed together. Apples and honey are nothing new in the Jewish tradition – it’s the thing to eat on Rosh Hashana – for a sweet and prosperous New Year. As for the haroset preparation, there’s really nothing to it – you simply toast some walnuts for a few minutes until they’re fragrant and crunchy, and chop them up finely. You then peel a couple of apples, core them and chop those as well. Some folks prefer their haroset minced, but I like mine on a chunkier side. That way you can really taste the apple texture. And while a lot of versions like to add a few glugs of Manishewitz, or a fortified kosher wine, I prefer to add pomegranate molasses, which gives my otherwise Ashkenazi haroset a Middle Eastern twist. A pinch or two of cinnamon and your haroset is done – provided, of course, you let it sit in your fridge overnight.

haroset

And with that, I shall return to my spreadsheets and Power Point slides. I know what you’re thinking – lucky duck! Don’t be jealous now – sometimes life just isn’t fair.

Haroset

Ingredients:
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced (I like Gala or Fuji, but Granny Smith are also nice)
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted, cooled, and chopped (toast for 5-7 minutes in 350 degree oven)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tbsp honey

Preparation:

Take a large bowl and stir together all ingredients. Adjust honey/pomegranate molasses to taste. Refrigerate overnight and serve at your Passover seder or whenever you want this for a snack (which for me, is always!).

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16 Comments

  • 1

    I’ve never had haroset, but the combination of apples, honey, pomegranate molasses, and cinnamon sounds fantastic. It sounds like a very kid-friendly snack, to boot.

    Now, back I go to my own powerpoint slides…

    March 19, 2010 12:01 pm
  • 2
    Robert S. said:

    It looks so awesome, and I think my three-year old would LOVE it.

    And now, back to dealing with health benefits/COBRA/FSA/LTD, et al. (no powerpoint slides, however)

    March 19, 2010 12:21 pm
  • 3

    Olga, regardless of what you think of your photos, I still think everything looks great! I have only had charoset once and love how simple and delicious it is!

    I’ll have to try your recipe soon.

    Great post! :)

    March 19, 2010 3:52 pm
  • 4

    I may not be Jewish but I love how their cuisine is slowly spreading so more people can learn about it. I just made a honey cake which I believe is typical for Rosh Hashanah. I guess great minds think alike! :)

    Good luck with work!

    March 19, 2010 6:38 pm
  • 5
    bryan said:

    wow, look at that, I’m already drooling, great color, looks delicious

    March 20, 2010 6:33 am
  • 6
    Sprout said:

    Radish – no need to be so hard on yourself! Your first photo is stunningly rustic. Something like the texture of this dish, no?

    Beautiful. Thanks again for sharing.

    March 20, 2010 11:03 pm
  • 7

    Yum! Pomegranate molasses sounds wonderful! I have never used it in harosst but it’s such a great idea. I often add dried apricots, some candied ginger and a pinch of cloves to mine. Such a fun food to play around with.

    March 21, 2010 7:32 am
  • 8
    Dana said:

    Yum! I can envision myself gobbling up a lot of this tasty mixture, and the other person in my house getting grumpy because he can’t have any, ha ha. Anything with pomegranate molasses is my cup of tea!

    Would it be okay to replace the walnuts with another type of nut? I know that it would make it less traditional, but I imagine that going without the nuts at all would diminish on texture contrast.

    March 21, 2010 11:24 am
  • 9
    Radish said:

    Dana – I think that you can play with various nuts, I’d love to hear what you come up with!

    March 21, 2010 1:20 pm
  • 10
    Annette said:

    Where do you find pomegranate molasses?

    April 27, 2010 9:07 am
  • 11
    Radish said:

    Annette – I’m very fortunate in that I have lots of Middle Eastern stores around, but my mom gets hers at a Russian grocery store. Are there any ethnic food shops around you? Where do you live?

    April 28, 2010 12:11 pm
  • 12
    K said:

    The version my friend’s grandmother used to make had white wine rather than the pom. molasses. Is that strange?

    May 26, 2010 2:31 pm
  • 13

    [...] from Olga Massov’s Haroset, Sassy Radish March 2010) [...]

    May 27, 2010 5:28 pm
  • 14
    Chris said:

    It looks like I’ll be off looking for pomegranate molasses this weekend!

    September 17, 2010 3:15 am
  • 15

    [...] Passover for a while, but I was surfing around SassyRadish today and couldn’t resist posting this.  Haroset is basically a paste made of fruit, nuts and other types of deliciousness, and [...]

    February 27, 2011 10:51 pm
  • 16

    [...] with Matzo Balls Beef Brisket with Merlot and Prunes Almond Lemon Torte with Fresh Strawberry Puree Haroset Citrus Salad with Cilantro & Mint Wine Stewed Prunes and [...]

    October 11, 2012 5:12 pm

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