Category Archives: apples

Kohlrabi Apple Matchstick Salad

kohlrabi apple salad with hazelnuts

Crunch, crunch.

Everyone knows that apples and cheese and mustard go together, right? What they may not know is that kohlrabi is adds an important edge to the mix. Just enough zing to tie it all together and a very pleasant crispiness, especially since it’s not apple season and your apples may not have the ideal firmness. (This was my roommate’s idea, by the way)

Cutting up anything into matchsticks makes it more fun, too (besides the bit where it takes dressing more handily). I recommend peeling kohlrabi, cutting in half and then thin slices, then take half of that, flip it sideways (on the flat side) and cut more thin slices. You can kind of do the same thing with apples (don’t peel, but core them), but it’s a little trickier with the core gone. I bet there’s some ridiculous fancy kitchen gadget that will do matchsticks for you, if you really can’t stand cutting them up.

To elucidate some comments I’ve made previously re: farm tech, the problem with technological change is much the same problem as GMOs: copyrights. Farmers end up needing to hack into the systems of tractors and other equipment in order to use them. When you reach the point that the farmers are seeking out old versions of tractors just to avoid this problem, you know there’s something wrong with the system. The same could potentially be applied to seeds—the only reason we get so excited about heirloom (historic) seeds these days is because we haven’t been breeding for the right traits (i.e. flavor), so important qualifiers have been lost over time, and some of the newer interesting seeds have weird patents on them. Harumph.

There are some cool new developments though (well, a combination of new and old, like many of my favorite innovations), like a tree that has been grafted to produce 40 different kinds of fruit! Trees are so neat. I need to get an orchard when I have a real place, whenever that will be.

It’s almost tomato season and I am beyond thrilled. Stay tuned.

Kohlrabi apple matchstick salad
2 kohlrabi bulbs
1 apple
2-4 oz. extra sharp cheddar
Parsley
1 small scallion, or 1/4 red onion
Chives
Nuts, if desired
Dressing: 
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 large spoonful mustard (more than you would put in an ordinary salad)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon
Honey, if desired
Tahini or cream, if desired
Salt and pepper

Cut up the kohlrabi and apples into matchsticks (see above for technique recommendations). Matchstick the cheddar as well. Chop up parsley, green onions, chives, and any other additions you would like. Toast nuts, if using.

Whisk together dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss, making sure cheddar pieces separate from each other.

Serve with toasted nuts on top.

Other variations: More lemon; mint instead of mustard; parmesan instead of cheddar; add radishes for an extra bite or cucumbers to make it milder.

Picnic time!

kohlrabi apple salad

P.S. I added my Instagram to the side of the page! Now you can see all my pretty pictures even without an account. You’re welcome.

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Cranberry Apple Sauce

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Pictures while cooking kept steaming up my camera 

Who says you can’t eat local in Maine all year round? I was worried about getting enough fruit in the winter, but so far I am doing quite well. This is because a) freezers b) apples store ridiculously well (side note: I kept apples in my fridge in college for months and months after going apple picking, and used them up very gradually (not having time to bake), but they were still good, albeit a little wrinkly, after having survived the winter and numerous attempts by my dear roommates to throw them away. Wrinkly ones do requires some peeling and attention, but otherwise they remain delicious) and c) local fruit just keeps coming! Cranberries and pears are the latest crops, both of which keep well as well, and pears have to ripen for a long time anyway.

Breakfasts are where I eat most of my fruit, along with yogurt (remind me to write down my yogurt tasting notes sometime. I eat yogurt almost every day and have tried a fair number of them, never get sick of it. Definitely get the whole milk creamy-top version) and sometimes oatmeal, toast, granola, or some other baked good. In the summer I had fresh fruit, melons or berries, and now I usually have either some form of applesauce or I thaw some berries (usually blueberries, but if I want a smoothie I use a mix of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries). Nom.

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Anyway the first time I saw cranberries at the co-op I knew I had to get them (and local cranberries, by the way and in case you hadn’t figured this out yet, are much more beautiful and delicious than the packaged grocery-store variety). I intended to make cranberry sauce but have not enjoyed adding a bunch of sugar to dishes lately, and most cranberry sauce recipes contain buckets of sugar. So instead of following a recipe, I threw a bunch of cranberries and apples together in a pot, added a little water (or cider, I don’t remember), and listened to them pop. Ended up with a delicious tart-and-sweet bright pink sauce that gets more vibrant as it sits. Vary the ratio of apples to cranberries per the occasion (Thanksgiving may be a more cranberry-heavy scene), and vary the cooking time depending on how soft and blended you like your apples.

Cranberry-Apple sauce
1/2 cup cranberries
4 apples, whatever variety you like to cook with, sweeter if you want a sweeter sauce
A few tablespoons of cider, tea, or water
Spices, if you want (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, etc)

Core and slice the apples, peeling only if you want a smooth sauce (I can’t be bothered most of the time, and I like having skins add to the texture anyway). Throw them with the cranberries, spices, and liquid into a pot (larger ones work a little better, but you can do a small one and just start with a smaller amount, adding more apples as you go. This will also create a varied texture, if you like that). Cover and cook on low heat for a good 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all the elements are getting cooked.

Eat at least a few spoonfuls right away (for taste-testing purposes if nothing else), and put the rest in the fridge for breakfasts. As I said, the color will intensify as it sits.

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Also happens to be a good thing to have around when you discover a meal that needs just a little extra vibrant tartness. Such as rutabagas and fried beans.

Autumn-Summer Salad: Apples and Smoked Cheese

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With all the fine weather this weekend it seemed like a good time for another salad, which will probably be mostly disappearing off of my menu in the near future. So after I came home from tennis and a quick swim in the ocean (again, probably the last time for a while, and yes it was quite cold), I threw this together and was quite pleased with the result.

I often eat apples and cheese together as a quick snack (apples and peanut butter is also great), but putting it on top of a salad, with the addition mustard, makes the combination into more of meal.

You can make this with whatever greens you want; I threw in a little kale to add some oomph but I like having the lightness of the mesclun as well. It may make extra dressing—judge how much you like before mixing it all together.

Apple-cheese salad
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 tsp olive oil
Fresh oregano, and/or parsley
Salt and pepper, as desired
About 4 stalks of kale, leaves only, washes and ripped apart
Mesclun, or other lettuce
1 eating apple, your favorite variety (I recommend similar to gala), cut into pieces
Smoked cheddar, cubed

Mix together mustard and vinegar, then whisk in olive oil (I generally make dressing in whatever bowl I’m eating the salad in, because fewer dishes). Taste and add other seasonings, as you wish. Put kale in the bowl with the dressing and massage it around for a while (if you don’t know about massaging kale for salads yet, do it. It’s important and makes it much more tender). Add the rest of the lettuce and toss, then throw on the apples and cheese.

This would also benefit from some nice smoked sausage. Alternatively, you could serve it as a side next to a nice roast (preferably one with lots of caramelized onions) with some crusty bread.

Enjoy the weather!