This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Fall produce is plentiful now. This week look for: apples.
What are they? • The classic fruit is from a plant that's in the rose family and has thousands of varieties. From light yellow to deep burgundy, from sweet to tart and from soft to crisp, apples have been eaten for, oh, say, a few thousand years.
How to use • Nearly all varieties available in Utah are good for baking, with the exception of Red Delicious and Gala, which are best eaten raw. Many apples have a thin layer of wax applied to them prior to shipping, so wash with water and soap then dry prior to use. If using apples in a salad, to keep them from browning, dip them in three parts water to one part citrus juice.
Look for • Apples that are firm, free from blemishes and bruises, and no soft spots.
Storage • Store in the refrigerator or cellar that's 35-40 degrees and use within two weeks or up to a month.
Apple walnut raita
Raita is yogurt whisked until smooth and flavored with a variety of spices. It's an integral part of any Indian meal. This raita is delicious served with pork or poultry.
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 teaspoon sugar, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups grated peeled apples, such as Empire, McIntosh or Gala
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped mild to moderately hot fresh green chile
About 20 mint leaves, stacked and cut into thin ribbons
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/8 teaspoon chat masala (see note, below)
In a small, heavy frying pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the walnuts, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, cayenne and a pinch of salt. Toast the walnuts, stirring to coat with the butter and spices, until the nuts are fragrant and browned, about 2 minutes. Drain the nuts on paper towels and chop them.
In a small bowl, stir the apples, lime juice, chile and mint.
In a larger bowl, whisk the yogurt to lighten it. Stir in the apple mixture, chat masala, walnuts and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Taste the raita and adjust the seasonings if necessary before serving chilled.
Note • Chaat masala is a ground-spice blend that includes black salt, green mango powder, cumin, coriander, chiles, asafetida (resin of giant fennel) and ajwain (seeds that smell and taste like thyme but with an intense, peppery ending). It is available at any Indian market. Makes • 3 cups.
Source • One Spice, Two Spice, by Floyd Cardoz (William Morrow, 2006)