Sephardic Fruit Salad

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography.

Sephardic Jews make ample use of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the year. In the summer, they prepare a refreshing fruit salad called Macedonia de Frutas.

This salad is a combination of ripe cut up fruits, sweetened with simple syrup, and flavored with rosewater. Its name derives from the Macedonian empire of Alexander the Great. His conquests stretched over many cultures, races, and different peoples. Macedon derives from the french word Macédoine, which means a combination of elements.

Macedonia de Frutas

Adapted from The Sephardic Kitchen: The Healthy Food and Rich Culture of the Mediterranean Jews by Rabbi Robert Sternberg

  • 10 cups of cut up peaches, apricots, cherries, or any other summer fruits of your choice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon rosewater
  • 1 cup of crushed pistachio nuts
Photo by Rosana Prada

Photo by Rosana Prada.

  1. Make the simple syrup by bringing the water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the flame and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Add the rosewater.
  4. Place the cut up fruit in a large bowl and pour the rosewater-simple syrup mix over the fruit.
  5. Cover the bowl with clingy plastic wrap, and refrigerate for two hours.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of crushed pistachio nuts.

New Year’s Fruit Salad

— by Challah Maidel

Rosh Hashana marks the Jewish new year, which starts in four days. Thankfully, I am covered for most of the meals. On Rosh Hashana, we eat foods that symbolize good things we hope for in the coming year. Apples and honey hint of a sweet year, while fish hint of a prosperous year to come.

Apples and pomegranates are some the many symbolic fruits that are featured in this fruit salad recipe. That is why I dubbed it “new year’s fruit salad.” The title is predictable, but the flavors have a surprise factor. I purposely selected these ingredients, as they give this fruit salad recipe a semblance of festivities.

Full recipe after the jump.
Sometimes, an Asian pear would be presented at our table. Our family tradition was to present and serve fruits that we normally do not eat on a regular basis. An Asian pear, or a pyrus pyrifolia, looks like a cross between an apple and a pear. Its tree species is native to China, Japan, and Korea. Also known as “apple pears,” Asian pears are low-calorie fruits that are high in fiber and vitamins. This fruit’s skin is thin enough for eating the fruit raw like an apple, without peeling, but easily removed with a sharp paring knife to reveal creamy white flesh.  

You can also add in star fruit, dates, or walnuts if you prefer. I have included a lemon honey dressing for this salad. A bit of ginger adds a nice touch as well. After all, given that much of the time during the Jewish new year holiday is spent either sitting in synagogue praying, or sitting around the dining room table eating, it is a good idea to include salads on the Rosh Hashanah menu.

An Asian pear looks like a cross between an apple and a pear.

New Year’s Fruit Salad

  • 3 Asian pears, sliced
  • 3-4 sour apples, sliced
  • 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

Place all of the ingredients in a salad bowl, and toss. If not serving immediately, securely cover salad with plastic wrap so the fruit won’t oxidize.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Challah Maidel is a blog about healthy kosher eating.