Faced with bushels of apples from my the orchard, I’ve been feverishly concocting ways to use them all up. The urgency is partially due to the fact that I just love apples and I’m lucky that we have access to an abundance of varieties from our local orchards (specifically the wonderful family-owned Melick’s in Oldwick, NJ); but also because some people (who I happen to be related to), think that I perhaps “overdid it” during my annual splurge at the apple farm… Yes, I did come home with a trunk loaded to the roof with apples, as well as a small fortune in heirloom squash…but no matter! This person must be proven wrong and I will do so by making every single apple count, if not eaten in hand, then morphed into a variety of dishes.
I’ve made crisps galore, pork tenderloin simmered with cider and cream, apple sauce to serve on the side, and cinnamon-dusted fritters for Sunday morning breakfast. But just when pomme fatigue was about to settle in, I had an epiphany: Why was I making apple consumption so hard on myself? They don’t all have to be cooked. Raw apples make a terrific savory ingredient: Chopped and added to a salad, like the classic Waldorf, is a must; I’ve also been adding cubes of Crispin or Matsu to the KEEPERS Massaged Kale and Pomegranate Salad (HERE’S A LINK TO THE RECIPE on the Delish website). For lunch and light dinners, I’ve been including them in rice bowls along with any and all of the following ingredients for a fall mix: Toasted nuts, sliced radish, carrots, brussel sprouts (shredded raw), red cabbage, roasted beets, and arugula.Even easier, I’ve been slicing my orchard apples thinly and then wedging them into grilled cheese sandwiches. My favorite combination is rye bread with gruyere, sliced honeycrisp, and baked ham. A combination with prosciutto and fontina is also amazing… Smoked turkey with apples and sharp cheddar would also be amazing…and even a vegetarian version with roasted mushrooms and caramelized onions…
Recipe for Apple Grilled Cheese
To make, just create your grilled cheese as you normally would but layer the apples next to the cheese. For me the order is typically: Bread, buttered on both sides (or you can do mayo, yes, mayo swiped on both slices of bread both inside and out makes a super crispy and delectable grilled cheese), then cheese slices, apple slices, ham, a slathering of dijon mustard, more cheese slices, bread.