Two Ways to Use Apples this Fall

Apple season is upon us! Here are two ways that I like to celebrate this seasonal treat. If you’re at the market tomorrow, stop by to see me; I’ll be offering samples of these recipes and would love to meet you!

Fennel and Apple Chicken Salad
 

  • 1 lb. of roasted chicken, shredded
  • 3 medium apples, diced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced then coarsely chopped
  • 1 large, or 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced, fronds chopped and reserved
  • juice of half a lemon
  • homemade mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • fennel salt to taste (recipe follows)

In a medium pan over medium heat, cook the sliced fennel bulb in a little olive oil until the fennel begins to caramelize. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile mix together the chicken, apples and onion. Add in the cooled caramelized fennel and lemon juice. Add enough mayonnaise to reach your desired consistency, sprinkle with fennel salt to taste and approximately a tablespoon of the fennel fronds and stir thoroughly. Chill before serving. 

Homemade Mayonnaise
 

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t. water
  • a dash of dry mustard, or a teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • a big pinch each of salt and pepper
  • a pinch of salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 c. of mild flavored olive oil
  • 1/4 c. of a neutral flavored oil of your choice (I prefer avocado)

Into the bowl of a stand mixer, food processor or mixing bowl, add the egg yolk, water, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk, mix or blend for a moment before slowly beginning to add in the olive oil, one drop at a time, until the mixture begins to emulsify. Then begin adding the oil in a very thin stream. Add in the lemon juice and combine thoroughly before adding the remaining neutral oil in a thin stream.

Fennel Salt
 

  • 1 t. fennel seeds
  • 1 T. sea salt

Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes or until aromatic. Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder (or a cleaned coffee grinder) and combine with the salt. 

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Chai Butternut Soup

This recipe is lightly adapted from my friend Bekah Tuggy’s original recipe. It’s genius and a staple in our house during the fall months.
 

  • 1 butternut squash (3-3.5 lb) peeled, cored and chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1 small sweet onion or 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 medium apples, cored and chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 c. of strongly brewed black tea
  • 1-1.5 c. vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 t. ground nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. cardamom
  • 1/8 t. ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for cooking
  • 1/3 c. half and half or heavy cream (optional)

In a heavy pot with a lid, gently saute the carrots and onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the squash and apples and continue cooking for a few more minutes. Add the tea and broth; the liquid should almost, but not quite cover the vegetables. Stir in your spices, salt and pepper, and stir well. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes over a medium low heat, or until the squash is cooked through. 

Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in small batches in a stand blender. Gently stir in the half and half or cream, if using. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.