Laura Avery chats with Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm, about making applesauce to garnish tasty potato latkes (see recipe in the next segment) and appetizers for the holidays.
Makes about 3 cups
3 lbs (8-9) tart apples such as Spitzenberg or Winesap
Few sprigs thyme (optional)
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
2 to 3 Tablespoons water, fresh lemon juice, Calvados, hard cider or dessert wine
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut apples in half vertically and core them. Place the halves, cut side down, in one or more large shallow baking pans, spacing them 1 to 2 inches apart. Scatter thyme among apples. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake apples until tender, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slip fruits from their skins back into pan, scraping any pulp from peels. Discard skins and thyme. Mash apples with a fork, stirring in a bit of water, lemon juice, or Calvados to help scrape up any brown bits in the pan and to lighten the texture of the applesauce. Season to taste with cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
Adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman (Blenheim Press, 2007).
Fast and Fabulous Holiday Appetizer Ideas from the Farmers’ Market
• Stuff dates with walnut halves and a piece of salty hard cheese such as Winchester Aged Gouda or Redwood Hill Gravenstein Gold. Or, shave large, thin slices of cheese, lay on serving plate, top with walnut-stuffed dates, and drizzle with La Vigne walnut oil and a few grinds of black pepper. Would be nice with mandarin sections.
• Place slabs of Bubalis Bubalis buffala ricotta or a mound of Redwood chevre on serving platter. Scatter slivers of dried red plums from Betty Kennedy and shelled, salted Santa Barbara pistachios, and if desired, top with a drizzle of emerald pistachio oil and a sprinkling of fleur de sel or other crunchy sea salt.
• Camillia, Crottin, or Bucheret with dried fruits, and the nut of your choice
• Platter of prosciutto (okay, that’s not from the market) with slices of Fuyu persimmons and cracked black pepper
• Sauté green, black, or a mix of Adams Ranch olives in a little olive oil along with some herbs—a couple fresh bay leaves, a few thyme and/or rosemary sprigs—and lemon zest. Toss in some almonds too, if you like.
Music break: Acapulco by Les Baxter