The Big Apple

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I have always wondered why New York city is called the Big Apple. Is it because it is the most populated city in the US, or because for many it is the creme de la creme for anyone trying to make it? After a bit of internet research, I found that one theory goes that during the Great Depression many of the former financiers would travel from their homes in their suits to sell apples on the streets of New York City. Rumor has it that several well-to-do families had to make ends meet by selling apples and the charade became know to many as the "Big Apple" scam of New York. This tale may or may not be true, but it makes for a good story to go along with a few photos from a recent quick trip to this fast-paced city.

Fall Salad with Sautéed Apples

Recently I have been browning apple slices with a dab of butter in the cast iron skillet for our young children. Since they aren’t huge fans of eating raw apples, this seemed like a good way to soften their crunchy texture without turning them to total mush. The kids can’t seem to get enough of apples cooked this way, and who could blame them? For a grown up twist I combine the sweet apples with tart dressing, tangy goat cheese, and earthy lentils and walnuts for a nice balance of flavors and textures. This salad is hearty enough for lunch and would be a special plate at a holiday dinner table.

Serves 4


2 firm apples
2 tablespoons butter

Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
4 large heads endive, leafs separated, washed and cut
1 cup cooked black lentils
4 ounces soft goat cheese
¼ cup walnuts, toasted

Peel the apples and cut out the core. Cut into approximately 1/3 inch slices. In a medium skillet or cast iron pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium/low heat until melted. Add a single layer of apple slices and cook until brown, about 3-4 minutes; then flip each apple slice over and cook until brown, 1-2 minutes more. The apples should still be slightly firm. Transfer the apple slices to a plate to cool and repeat this process with the remaining tablespoon of butter and apple slices. Allow the apples to cool to room temperature. This step can be done a day ahead of time and the sautéed apples can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil to create an emulsion. Add the salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad place a quarter of the endive leafs on a plate and top with a quarter of the black lentils, sautéed apple slices, goat cheese walnuts. Drizzle over the dressing. Or, place all of the ingredients in a large salad bowl and gently toss together. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


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