My neighborhood is awash in apples. No one can recall having seen an apple season like this one. (Last year we had practically NO apples!) Even my own old, pathetic apple trees have produced copious amounts of fruit.
The apples ripened early, and I have to admit that it took me a while to get around to doing anything with them. I like to eat (and cook with) apples when the weather gets cool—and so far it has remained remarkably warm.
A couple of weeks ago, however, I decided that if I didn’t use some of the fruit soon the birds and squirrels would get it all.
Of course, I have made applesauce, a staple of my fall kitchen. For my most recent television appearance on Mass Appeal I prepared a couple of additional recipes I have been longing to test.
The first was a coleslaw from my friend Chef Michael Collins. Michael is cooking up a storm at his new restaurant, a tiny, colorful place in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, called Ponte because of its proximity to the lovely Bridge of Flowers.
Michael couldn’t come with me to the TV station that day, but he gave me permission to use his recipe, which perfectly blended sweet and tart. Here I share both that recipe and my cooking video.
Enjoy apple season—and please comment below if you have found a fun new way to cook with apples. We still have a LOT of them in my neighborhood.
Michael Collins (left) with his partner Tony Palumbo at Ponte
Michael’s Apple Slaw
4 cups shredded cabbage (try for a fairly rough cut)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 large apple, unpeeled (any red apple), diced into chunks (if you really love apples, put in 2 of them!)
1/2 cup chopped or halved pecans (or peanuts or walnuts—whatever you have in the house), plain, toasted, or roasted
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup mayonnaise or light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey (I like the honey)
1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
1 tablespoon milk (optional; I didn’t need it)
A couple of hours before you want to assemble the coleslaw, place the cabbage in a colander. Toss in a tablespoon of kosher salt, and leave the mixture to drain for at least an hour, maybe 2.
Soak the cabbage in cold water to remove the salt, and drain it thoroughly.
Toss together the cabbage, the apple pieces, the nuts, and the raisins or dried cranberries.
In a bowl combine the other ingredients. Pour the resulting dressing over the cabbage/apple mixture and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate for 1/2 hour before eating. Eat within a day to keep the apple pieces crisp. Michael likes to serve this salad on a cabbage leaf.
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