When I was growing up we had few choices for Charoset. You could coarsely chop your apples or you could fine chop your apples. If you really wanted to go out on an exotic limb you could use Cherry Manischewitz instead of Concord Grape. But that was it.
Flash forward a few years to when I first got married. Initially, I made traditional (that means, just like my mother) Ashkenazi Seder foods. A few years later, when the words “high cholesterol” snuck into our family lexicon, I started to think, “Do I really need to use 12 dozen eggs just for the Seder?” There were eggs in everything; matzah balls, kugels, bilklach (does anybody else out there make bilklach? Yummy. Curious? Just ask.) and sponge cake not to mention the hard-boiled eggs that we eat during the Seder. I might as well have injected whole eggs into our veins! It was then that I began to research healthier Seder options and I found many in the traditions of Sephardic Jewry.
One of my favorite new Seder foods was Yemenite Charoset. Over the years I’ve switched it up, borrowing from other traditions and adding my own spin. Here it goes…
CHAROSET (This recipe makes about 65 1" balls…we have big Seders)
4 cups dates
2 cups raisins
2 cups figs
2 cups apricots
3" piece fresh ginger
2 cups shelled pistachios
2 cups finely ground almonds (you can buy the almonds already ground)
6 Tbl. sweet red Passover wine
Chop the fruits separately in a processor
Course chop the pistachios in processor
Grate the ginger
Mix everything together with spices and wine
Roll into 1" balls
Coat the balls in ground almonds (this keeps the balls from sticking together and makes them look cool)
Chag Sameach (happy holiday), wishing you a zissen pesach (a sweet Passover).