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Falling for Apples

A true sign of Fall, apples appear everywhere, from thick-caramel-coated, to sweet and tangy cups of fresh-pressed cider at the local market.

The Northwest has always been the mecca for amazing apples; glorious Galas with their perfumy sweet flavor under a lovely red-pinky striped exterior, firm Fujis that hold their texture amazingly well when cooked, to deep-blushed Braeburns … and the list goes on.

What most of us, at least us pie-lovers think about when thinking of apples – is pie. Which of course is delicious, especially with a little cheddar cheese added into the crust.

But in addition to desserts, there are bushels of other great ways to cook with apples. Try whipping up my Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon–Bacon Vinaigrette. It’s really quick and delicious.

Just remember, one of the best apple tips to observe is to always keep your apples refrigerated. At 70 degrees, apples break down and become soft, 10 times faster than if refrigerated! Many a Northwesterner accomplished this in the olden days by stashing the winter’s apples under the bed — back when winter bedrooms were quite chilly. I bet those rooms smelled appley great! – Kathy

Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon–Bacon Vinaigrette
This salad is delicious as a starter or serve it as an entrée topped with grilled chicken breast and crumbled blue cheese.

Makes 6 servings (as a starter salad)

6 cups baby spinach
1 apple, cored and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion

Vinaigrette
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
———————————————
1/4 cup finely diced raw bacon
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic

Place spinach, apple and onion in a large, heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until ready to dress salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sugar, pepper, salt and olive oil. Set vinaigrette aside.

In a small non-stick pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until three-quarters done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, but do not brown garlic. Add the reserved vinaigrette to the hot pan. Immediately remove from heat and pour over reserved spinach mixture.

Toss until salad is well coated with dressing and serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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