Jews have lived in Persia for over 2,500 years and developed a delicious, healthy cuisine alongside the larger Persian community. A Persian haroset recipe almost always includes tropical fruits that grow in the country, such as dates, bananas and oranges. A wide variety of nuts is also used throughout Persian cooking, as reflected in the four types used here. Unlike the overly sweet Ashkenazi haroset, this recipe adds a taste of cider vinegar and some fresh ginger, very typical of the savory-sweet combination found in Persian cooking. Shaping the haroset into a pyramid, as is traditional, is a lot of fun and looks perfect on any seder table.
- ¾ cup walnuts
- ¾ cup raw and unsalted almonds
- ¾ cup raw hazelnuts
- ¾ cup raw and unsalted pistachio nuts
- 2 unpeeled pears, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 unpeeled apple, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 2 small oranges or 1 large, peeled, pitted and finely chopped with juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Sweet Passover wine or grape juice
- Pulse nuts in food processor until finely chopped. Put into a large bowl. Chop the fruits, except the orange, by pulsing also, being careful not to chop the mixture into a paste. Add all the fruit, including the orange already chopped by hand and its juice, to nuts and stir to blend well. Add cinnamon, ginger root, cider vinegar and just enough wine to bind. Mix very well. Place haroset mixture on a square platter and shape into a pyramid using your hands. A flat spatula can be used to smooth the “walls.” Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours to let the flavors blend.