The Best Way to Eat an Apple

"The Perfect Sandwich"

One of the few highlights of our drear Winter farmer’s market is the brimful bins of colorful apples--red, gold, green and pink Macoun, Gala, Jonagold, Arlet, Honeycrisp, Braeburn. Even in the dead of winter, the names evoke the first days of fall, scarlet leaves, tingling cheeks, scarves unfurled from high shelves. But I have to confess: I DON’ T LIKE APPLES, unless they are cooked in a pie. The skin gets between my teeth, and I find myself losing interest after the first two bites.

Happily, I’ve discovered a better way to get my one a day. Apples are the perfect sandwich ingredient, sliced almost paper thin and layered over slabs of an ooey gooey double cream brie. In fact slabs of brie layered with either apple or pear on a small Italian ciabatta is our go-to hiking meal. That plus a bag of Dirty salt and pepper kettle-cooked potato chips and maybe one dark chocolate bar.  By mid hike the brie is expiring and limp (like me on the trail), but the apple holds up, firm as my stern British mum-in-law saying “buck up,” “mustn’t grumble, mustn’t complain.”

I will put apples, though, in almost anything, like the other day when I had the Chef’s leftover Pork Scaloppina Perugina by Mario Batali, deliciously flavored with capers, prosciutto, lemon, sage, anchovy and garlic. Pictures show the progress of this open-faced wonder.

  1. Cut a small Trader Joe's ciabatta roll or any small roll in half

  2. Toast the halves

  3. Smear a little mayo on each half (more to come on the wonders of mayo!)

  4. Put two fresh sage leaves on each

  5. Layer with thin slices of a crispy apple--Macoun is my go-to apple

  6. Put slices of the pork chop on top with dribbles of the savory bits scraped from the pan.

The key here is not only the apples, but also the fresh aromatic sage that amplifies the sage used to cook the pork. I only put it in because I had no greenery for the sandwich in the fridge, and the combo proved  serendipitous.  The beauty part: after I’ve cut slivers of apple, most of the tough skin is gone, and I can gnaw on what’s left, which is just about enough to keep me interested.