The hallmark fall fruit can do so much more for you than star in a pie.
There’s nothing wrong with apple pie—in fact, a still-warm slice that’s cooling under a dissolving orb of vanilla ice cream is peak-experience eating. But making the most of the bounty of these fresh, crisp fall fruits takes a little imagination. In other words, let’s think beyond the crust.
My relationship with apples is fully ripe this week. First, the dwarf tree in my backyard orchard is having a banner year—the squirrels might have gotten to the cherries and peaches but they spared my apples, allowing me to harvest a couple dozen red beauties. Second, apples dipped in honey are a traditional food for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Symbolic of the roundness of the years that begin and end, the apple also represents the sweetness we hope lies in the year before us.
Walking my positive path means looking for ways to discover sweetness in every aspect of life, not just the expected places like beautiful sunsets and crisp autumn leaves. Similarly, couldn’t it be inspiring to use apples for a sweet bite outside the dessert zone?
Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate apples into savory fall cooking:
1. Either raw or roasted and tossed in a fall dinner salad, with roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds, and crumbled feta cheese.
2. Cut into chunks and roasted with chicken, onions, salt, pepper, and thyme.
3. Roasted and pureed in a fall soup with carrots or orange squash.
4. Thinly sliced and baked into a pizza or tart crust with gruyere cheese and thinly sliced onions.
5. Chopped and stirred into a grain salad (like wild rice, lentil, quinoa, or wheat berries) with a lemony vinaigrette dressing.
However you might incorporate apples into your meal planning this month, remember to consider the sweet side of every bite you take of your life.
And you might also like to contemplate this assessment from author Vera Nazarian: “When bobbing for apples, an idealist endlessly reaches for the best apple, a pessimist settles for the first one within reach, while an optimist drains the barrel, fishes out all the apples and makes pie.” Or, as the case may be, soup.