Persians refer to their charoset as “hallegh“. Many of them use some combination of nuts with dates, often adding pomegranate juice and/or seeds to round out the flavors. Today my friend Simona stopped by to show me her family’s hallegh, and what intrigued me the most was its addition of fresh red grapes to the mixture of nuts, raisins and dates (which have been marinating overnight in apple cider vinegar and sweet Passover wine). The result was a tangy, fruity spread, the texture of a paté:
Hallegh: Persian Charoset with Nuts, Apples, Grapes & Marinated Raisins & Dates
(Yield: Makes 5 Cups)
1 cup black raisins (preferably larger ones, if available)
6 medjool dates (about 1/2 cup), pitted
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sweet Passover wine
(such as Manischewitz)
1/4 pound (about 1 cup) of each of
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper (optional)
1/2 red seedless grapes
1 large red apple (about 8 ounces),
cut into large chunks
1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced red grapes
1. Place raisins and dates in a small bowl and marinate with the cider vinegar and sweet wine overnight (do not refrigerate).
2. Rinse nuts and spread out on a large kitchen towel to dry about 15 minutes.
3. Place nuts, salt, and red pepper (if desired)
in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.
4. Add grapes, apple, and marinated raisin-date mixture (with soaking liquid) to the processor and pulse until fairly smooth and well-blended.
5. Serve immediately garnished with sliced red grapes, or refrigerate in container for up to 2 days.
©Jennifer Felicia Abadi: www.TooGoodToPassover.com / jabadi@FistfulofLentils.com