A Tu Bishvat Seder For Every Personality

Tu Bishvat is not just for hippies anymore.

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THE HIPPIE

Go ahead and let your eco-freak flag wave.
Menu Suggestions
World 1: walnut pesto (recipe below) served on flaxseed crackers
World 2: date muffins spread with peach preserves
World 3: strawberry and blueberry smoothie "shots" blended with organic yogurt
Wine List Any organic or local wines will do. If you're looking for kosher options, go with Yarden Organic Chardonnay for white and Baron Herzog Merlot for red.
Decorations Arrange the room with comfy pillows spread around the floor, hang colorful tapestries, and set low tables with tea lights, scented candles, and potted bonsai trees.

THE SOPHISTICATE

Elegance need not take a backseat on Tu Bishvat.
Menu Suggestions

World 1: Lemon tartlets with an almond crust
World 2: Avocado-stuffed deviled eggs
World 3: Poached pears in wine syrup
With all that fruit on the table, you are going to want some cheese. Make a few small cheese boards to set around the table for mid-seder snacking.
Wine List Proper wine pairing is crucial to the seder's success. Consult with your local wine seller to find the perfect bottle for each course. Be sure to start with a sparkling Prosecco or champagne to kick things off in style.
Decorations Use cloth napkins with elegant napkin rings, your finest china, and good flatware (naturally). Set small sprays of roses in miniature jars around the table. Tie individualized place cards around the stem of a small apple and place in the middle of each plate.

THE NEWBIE

For first timers, the key is simplicity.
Menu Suggestions Create a few beautiful platters of whole fresh and dried fruit and nuts, and let the food shine for itself. Group the fruit and nuts from each "world" together on the platter to ease the guesswork--make sure to have a couple of options from each category.
Wine List Use your favorite table red and basic white wine.
Decorations Float a few tea-lights in bowls of water, and set bouquets of fresh, fragrant herbs (rosemary and thyme work especially well) in mason jars around the table.

THE MULTI-CULTURALIST

Celebrate Jewish foods from around the world on Tu Bishvat.
Menu Suggestions
World 1: Middle-Eastern inspired baklava
World 2: Hungarian fruit soup with peaches and plums
World 3: Sephardic quince and apple candies
Wine List 
Feature kosher wines from Israel, Italy, and Spain at your table.
Decorations Use music to set the mood--make a playlist of Jewish music from different cultures and let it play in the background throughout the seder.

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Leah Koenig

Leah Koenig is a freelance writer whose work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Gastronomica, Jewish Living, Lilith, Culinate, Beliefnet and other publications.