Savory Apple Side Dish Recipe (Baked Stuffed Apples)
Apples are the quintessential fall fruit. They're a great substitute for boring vegetable side dishes or potatoes. Granny Smith apples work wonders in savory dishes because they have a crunchy, crip texture with a hint of acidity.
This particular side dish is ultra-easy to prepare. I stuffed the apples with a combination of freshly cracked walnuts and hazelnuts, red onions, pure cane sorghum (you could also use maple syrup) and a few spices. To add a little tenderness and sweetness to the dish without overwhelming it, I alternated a few slices of McIntosh red apples and stuffed the apples with Kentucky pure cane sorghum from Bourbon Barrel (check out the tip section), which has a texture similar to corn syrup but is so much more flavorful. I placed a little apple cider at the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish, added the savory stuffed apples and baked them for about 30 minutes. Et voilà!
Yields: 6 servings4 Granny Smith apples
2 red apples (such as McIntosh)
¼ cup whole walnuts
1/3 cup whole hazelnuts
¼ tablespoons red onions, finely chopped
1 small lemon, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon pure cane sorghum (see tips)
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
¼ teaspoon smoked sea salt (see tips)
¼ teaspoon smoked pepper (see tips)
2 cups apple cider
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil (optional)
Roasting nuts: To release the flavor and oil of the nuts, I like to roast them in the oven before using them. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet. Place the tray in a preheated oven at 170°F. Roast the nuts for about 15 minutes. Let them cool completely. Rub the nuts between your hands; the skin should come off easily. Coarsely chop them. Do not roast at a temperature over 170°F or you'll risk breaking healthy fats and lose all the nutrients.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Prepping the apples: Core and cut the apples, horizontally, into 5-6 slices (depending on the size of the fruit), leaving the skin on. Place the apple slices in a bowl and coat in the juice of half a lemon to prevent oxidation of the fruit; drizzle with a little oil.
Prepping the filling: In a small pan, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the red onions and cook until fragrant. Turn off the heat and let them cool a little. Add the chopped nuts, mustard. and pure cane sorghum. Season with smoked sea salt and pepper.
Reform the apples, alternating the red and green slices. Place the reconstructed apples in a shallow, oven-safe baking dish. Spoon the stuffing into the center of each apple.
Warm the apple cider and pour it around the apples. It should go to at least a 1-inch-high level of liquid. Drizzle the top with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Tightly cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Open the oven and remove the aluminum foil; continue baking for another 5-10 minutes.
Drizzle the apples with walnut oil (if used).
Serve warm or at room temperature.
I used Bourbon Barrel smoked sea salt, smoked pepper and Kentucky pure cane sorghum. I'm so addicted to the sorghum. It has a rich caramel flavor with a hint of smokiness; I never want to use corn syrup again. You can find the same ingredient over at BourbonBarrelFoods.com. Plus, if you enter coupon code FATALE (exclusively for Pham Fatale readers), you get 10% off your entire order (coupon expires on November 6th, 2011).
Walnuts and hazelnuts are common nuts that pair wonderfully with apples and they're great for a vegetarian diet.
I cut the apples horizontally into thick slices before stuffing the apples, so the cooking time is faster.
You could also add some dried fruit such as raisins, chopped dried plums or dates, but I was afraid it would turn too sweet as a savory side dish.
I've also stuffed the apples with aged Gouda cheese and pine nuts in the past. It's equally delicious!
Published By: on October 26, 2011.