Tag Archives: apples

Apple Cranberry Cabbage Salad

I love this salad. It’s something of a cross between a waldorf salad and a slaw … but without the heavy, gloppy mayonnaise. I originally made it for our lab picnic earlier this summer (along with this Rhubarb Cobbler Cake) as I had a head of cabbage from the CSA box. And I made it again this week because I found myself with another head of cabbage and because I am love with apple season. It’s got some serious tang – the dressing has two different vinegars in it but is balanced by the sweetness of the apples, cranberries and sweet and spicy walnuts.

It feels hearty, because for some reason in my mind cabbage has much more substance than lettuce, but not heavy. A great dish for the transition into autumn. I’ve been savoring the local Ginger Gold apples and they are great in this salad because they keep well once cut (i.e. won’t turn brown). I used half a head of cabbage and it was perfect for two decently sized salads … but this is easily scaled up if feeding more than a mouth a or two.

Apple Cranberry Cabbage Salad

1/2 head of cabbage
1 apple
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sweet and spicy walnuts, recipe below
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Thinly slice the cabbage. Peel, core and thinly slice the apple into large, bite-sized pieces. Throw in a bowl with the dried cranberries and sweet and spicy walnuts.

In a small jar (I think this one had red curry paste in it originally) combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good shake.

Pour dressing over salad and toss. It doesn’t get that much easier or delicious.

Sweet and Spicy Walnuts

makes ~1 1/2 cups

I love, love, love these nuts. Sometimes I used pecans instead and will throw them on salads or eat straight out of the jar.

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups walnuts
freshly ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

In a small pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and walnuts, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until the walnuts are evenly coated and the peppers are distributed. And wait. Eventually (~5 minutes) the sugar will start to melt. At that point, make sure to be constantly stirring the walnuts into the melted sugar until all of the sugar is cooked and the nuts are evenly coated, about 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to wax paper to let cool. You can store these nuts in a jar for a couple of weeks.

Lazy Sunday

It was a lovely, lazy Sunday.  So lazy, in fact, I am having trouble recalling exactly what I did today.  I spent most of the day trying to distract myself from all of the festivities happening this weekend in Gainesville.  (Scott was playing host to his parents and some good friends and I desperately wanted to be down there with them).  So instead, I drank nearly an entire pot of coffee while perusing my cookbooks, with Food Network playing in the background.  I took a nap.  I made some progress on a knitting project.  I did the dishes and vacuumed the rug.   I made a simple dinner and re-read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Then I decided to roll up my sleeves and spend some more time in the kitchen.  It’s been no secret that I have been having lots of warm, fuzzy feelings for autumn.  A couple of weeks ago, while my mother was in town, we went apple picking.  We picked up some apple cider and a bag full of fresh, crunchy Honeycrisps.  Both of which have been sitting in my refrigerator.  So I did something about it.  Because it was Sunday.  Yes, it may have been 75 degrees outside, but the leaves have been changing color and these apples have been on my mind.

First, I made some mulled cider.  I found a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Bon Appetit’s Fast Easy Fresh.  I halved the recipe, as it was just me drinking it.  It was pretty simple and suited my state of mind.

Spiced Apple Cranberry Cider

1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple cider
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice (I used cranberry pomegranate, and was pleased with the substitution)
The juice and peel from 1/2 orange
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon nutmed
1/2 teaspoon cloves.

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.  I decided put my cider through my french press to to collect the cinnamon sticks and orange peel.  You could spike it with rum or brandy if you like.  That’s it.  Easy as pie and just as delicious.

I thought about making an apple pie.  But, as today was a lazy Sunday, I decided to do something easier than pie: Apple Brown Betty.  I actually prefer this to apple pie.  It has to do with the crust.  I am a sucker for any sort of flour, brown sugar and butter combo (and doesn’t require a rolling pin).  I think it might have been one of the first things my mom taught me to make as a kid (it was either this or macaroni and cheese, I can’t quite remember) and it’s stuck with me.  I made a relatively small dish but it is pretty easy to scale up.

Mom’s Apple Brown Betty

3 baking apples peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
~1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Arrange apple slices on the bottom of a baking dish.  Combine remaining ingredients and cut in butter.  Sprinkle on top of apples and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  I prefer to use a larger baking dish with a shallow layer of apples such that my apple to crust ratio is quite high.  Don’t be tempted to take it out of the oven too soon.  The beauty is in the crispy crust.  It’s almost like breaking the sugar on a creme brulee.  Crispy, sweet with soft baked apples underneath.  It makes a great dessert, but an even better breakfast (and should make Monday morning that much sweeter).  My father always likes his with a thick slice of cheddar cheese (something I still can’t bring myself to try), but I prefer mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

So not a total waste of a day.  Now to sit back to reflect upon this week’s episode of Mad Men with a second helping of Apple Brown Betty…