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Recipe: Sepharadic Date Haroset with Walnuts PDF Print E-mail

Sepharadic Date Haroset with Walnuts

A Passover Recipe by Lizi Rosenberg, Education Outreach Coordinator
April 2016

As the earth gets warmer, softer, and muddier, and the sap starts to run through the veins of the maple trees in our sweet corner of the Earth, spring also heralds the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is said that this festival is a celebration of freedom and a time to remember the biblical story of the Jewish people leaving the slavery of ancient Egypt.

There are many ways to honor Passover. My favorite is hosting a Seder and eating the ceremonial foods of matza (un-leavened flatbread) and haroset. Haroset is a sweet, ambercolored paste made with nuts and fruits that is part of the Seder plate used in the ceremonial dinner the first night of Passover (this year on Friday, April 22). My family is of Eastern European-descent so our haroset was made with apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and sweet wine. However, my mother favored the Middle Eastern version of this most lovely paste, made with dates and walnuts. Lucky for me, we enjoyed both. I adore this Sepharadic Date Haroset with Walnuts!

• 1 Lb dates, pitted (I prefer Medjool but Deglet are fine too)

• 1 to 2 Tsp. cinnamon

• 1 lemon, zested and juiced

• 1 Cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

• 1 to 2 Cups water Place dates in a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water.

Cook over low flame until dates become smooth and silky, the consistency of jam, adding cinnamon, 1 teaspoon at a time to taste. Turn off heat, add lemon zest and juice, and mix. Add walnuts, if using, and allow mixture to come to room temperature. Spread on matza and/or place on special plate for Seder ceremony.