Has 2011 been a good year for apples? It depends on your criteria. If we’re going purely on taste, I’d say yes, this is a very good year. After a very cold, wet spring and an apparent lack of bees to do the work of pollination, it looked like it might be a dismal year for one of our state’s most important fruit crops. As it turned out, summer finally pulled through in the second act and apples are now plentiful and sweet. So much so that now instead of worrying whether there would be enough, we’re thinking about how to use them all, a couple each day.
Apples and peanut butter. I know, not very inspired but makes an excellent snack or light lunch in a hurry, which most of mine seem to be. Unless you have kids around, you may have forgotten just how delicious this combination can be. It’s easily portable and highly addictive.
With a little more effort, an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich can be greatly improved with a couple of slices of apple to add some sweet crunch. Any kind of cheese will do. For this sandwich, I used some local goat cheese but use whatever you have on hand. By the way, grilled cheese sandwiches are excellent fall lunch fare. For more grown-up grilled cheese recipes click here.
Apple slices are the simplest appetizer I can think of. Add some cheese and fancy crackers or if you have several varieties, have an apple tasting and wine, of course.
Waldorf salad, another childhood relic, popped into my mind when planning a birthday lunch where there will be kids as well as adults present. As I often do, I used Sally’s recipe and substituted what I had on hand — thinly sliced fennel instead of kiwis and a handful of raisins on top along with toasted walnuts. It may be a stretch but I’m thinking of adding some leftover roasted chicken when I want more of a meal.
And lastly, here’s one of the healthiest, easiest fall slaws you can make. A couple of carrots, beets and apples shredded in a food processor dressed with rice wine vinegar and toasted sesame oil. Everything is raw, including the beets. You can peel, or not. Lemon juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar all make great dressings if you aren’t into the Asian theme.
With these simple suggestions, you can easily eat an apple a day, no problem. And yes, you might just keep the doctor away.