Not your usual apple recipes

Cynthia
Cynthia Stone
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With an autumn nice enough to make up for the nasty summer … almost … we owe it to ourselves to make the most of the season’s treats.

My mouth waters and my fingers itch as I push the cart through the packed produce departments or pick through the local farmers’ market displays. My mind spins through recipes, trying to come up with combinations that I haven’t tasted or trying to remember new ideas I’ve read about but haven’t had time to test.

Instead of the usual dessert recipes—apple pie and apple crisp and apple squares—today it’s savoury all the way.

Apple slaw

We can enjoy barbecues as long as the weather holds, and this recipe is a gentle segue into the fall. Enjoy the sweet taste of apple and the crunch of cabbage in a tangy dressing with just the right amount of heat. Everyone has an opinion on whether slaw should be more sweet or more sour, so taste the dressing before you pour it over the apple and cabbage, and adjust the acid balance with more sugar or more vinegar. This recipe makes enough for a crowd, so scale up or down accordingly.

4 crisp green apples — Granny Smith are a good choice

1 lemon — juice and finely grated zest

1 medium head purple cabbage, shredded or finely chopped

1 medium onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped, as you prefer

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp. apple juice

2 tbsp. cider vinegar

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce (or to taste)

1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper

Halve apples and remove the cores. Thinly slice and toss with lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Add cabbage and onion. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients until sugar is dissolved and pour over apple mixture. Toss to combine thoroughly and serve at once.

Curried apple and squash soup

This is a fabulous first course for a fancy dinner party, or makes an easy supper with a sandwich on the side. Leftovers are fabulous and freeze well, so double or triple this one to fill your freezer for the long cold winter to come. Using vegetable instead of chicken broth makes this a hearty vegetarian soup. Depending on the kind of coconut milk you buy — be careful not to get super-sweet coconut cream by mistake — you may have a thick layer on top of the can with thin liquid underneath. You can use a couple of spoonfuls of the thick cream for frying the vegetables. If you prefer to buy the low-fat, you may have to use vegetable oil. This amount serves 6 to 8.

2 cups (1 can about 14 oz.) coconut milk

2 cups each diced onion and carrot

1 cup diced celery

1 thumb-sized piece fresh gingerroot, peeled

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tbsp. hot (or regular) curry powder

1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small butternut (or other fall) squash, peeled and diced (or 3 cups packaged squash pieces — much easier because butternut is hard to peel)

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)

2 bay leaves

6 crisp sweet apples, peeled and diced

1 large can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 big bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

If you have the coconut milk with the thick layer on top, put a couple of spoonfuls of the cream into a Dutch oven; otherwise, use 2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk to use later. Fry onion, carrot and celery over medium heat until soft and just starting to take on a little colour. Smash the ginger with the flat side of a heavy knife and add, whole, to the pot. Add garlic and curry powder and fry together until fragrant, 2 or 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, squash, broth, wine and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add apples, chickpeas and remaining coconut milk and simmer together another 15 minutes or until squash and apple are tender. Remove and discard ginger. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in cilantro, reserving a little to garnish the bowls, and serve with a small dollop of sour cream or yogurt and remaining cilantro floating on top.

 

Cynthia Stone is a writer, editor and teacher in St. John’s. Questions may be sent to her c/o The Telegram, P.O. Box 86, St. John’s, N.L., A1E 4N1.

Organizations: The Telegram

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