I hosted a Seder this Passover and it was a lovely event. Three of my mama friends joined me with their children. For most of them it was their first, or maybe second seder. Wanting to show them the best of me Eastern European roots I cooked quite a bit: roasted beet, chevre and baby kale salad with an orange vinaigrette; homemade matzah ball soup (recipe is on my blog) with schmaltz; a brilliant apple noodle kugel from The New York Times. And of course I prepped the food to be eaten during the seder rituals, all of which is reflected on the seder plate.
My favorite of the ritual foods, Charoset, is a wine marinated apple salad that is meant to represent mortar. Passover is the story of how Moses led the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt. Several items on the seder plate are meant to represent the bitterness of that slavery. None are as sweet or as looked forward to as Charoset, which varies from home to home, but always includes finely chopped apples, red wine and walnuts. It is eaten with Matzah, a holiday cracker and is a delightful treat. I made mine with a touch of cloves and honey and it turned out fabulous. I’m including the recipe below, along with a picture of my seder plate. Now, you may have already had all of the Seders you’re going to have. Bookmark this recipe and save it for next year and the year after. You’ll have the most delicious Charoset every Passover. For those of you who have a few seders left to plan and have just run out of Charoset, give this recipe a try. If you don’t celebrate Passover you can still enjoy this cold apple salad. It is delicious on its own or with Matzah (or another basic unsalted cracker such as water crackers). Try it with brie on toast.
Makes 3 cups
3 Fuji or Braeburn apples, peeled and finely chopped
6 ounces red wine
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground spice cloves
1. Mix all ingredients together. Marinate for up to an hour. Serve on the seder plate (to be eaten at the appropriate time), or any time.