On the Passover seder plate, haroset symbolizes the mortar used by slaves in Egypt.
Reprinted with permission from The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
2 oz (60 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 – 4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste (optional)
1 cup (150 g) raisins
Juice and grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 lb (250 g) dates, pitted
2 sweet apples weighing 1/2 lb (250 g), peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup (250 ml) sweet red Passover wine
Put all the ingredients except the sugar and the walnuts together in a saucepan and cook on very low heat until the mixture is soft and mushy and the liquid is reduced, stirring occasionally. Add sugar to taste. The amount will depend on the sweetness of the other ingredients. Blend to a paste in the food processor. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with walnuts.
Pronounced: SAY-der, Origin: Hebrew, literally “order”; usually used to describe the ceremonial meal and telling of the Passover story on the first two nights of Passover. (In Israel, Jews have a seder only on the first night of Passover.)