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An Apple A Day, But In A Savory Way

Roasted Apple and Mushroom Salad on Arugula (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Roasted Apple and Mushroom Salad on Arugula (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Apples aren’t just for desserts! Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst brings Jeremy Hobson and Peter O’Dowd apples in a salad, a pork and apple dish, as well as a spicy apple chutney.

Roasted Apple and Mushroom Salad on Arugula

If you could gather all the earthy, sweet flavors of autumn and put them on a plate it might look and taste something like this salad. A variety of apples and mushrooms are roasted and then served over a bed of peppery arugula and sprinkled with toasted chopped walnuts. This salad would make an ideal first course for the upcoming holidays, or serve as lunch, or light dinner with warm, crusty bread.

Serves 2 to 4.


The Salad

  • 1/3 cup walnut halves
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, an assortment of varieties like portobello, shiitake, oyster, etc., stemmed and cut in thick slices
  • 3 medium to large apples, an assortment of apples like Macoun, Mutsu, Macintosh, Cortland, etc., peeled, cored and cut into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups arugula leaves washed and dried

The Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the walnuts on a cookie sheet and bake the middle shelf for 10 minutes. Coarsely chop and set aside.
  2. In a medium roasting pan or sheet pan with shallow sides mix the mushrooms, apples, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on the middle shelf for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the apples are just soft, but still holding their shape.
  3. Meanwhile make the vinaigrette: in a small bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Place the arugula on a serving plate or bowl and top with the roasted apples and mushrooms. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette, sprinkle with the walnuts, and serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Roasted Pork with Apples, Leeks and Sage in a Cider Sauce

Sophisticated title, but don’t be fooled. This is a very simple recipe. You can use boneless or bone-in pork chops for this dish and a variety of cooking apples. A knob of butter is added at the very end of the cooking time to create a creamy, apple flavored sauce.

Serves 2.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large leek, dark green section discarded and white and pale green section cut lengthwise, washed, dried, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium apples, a variety is best like Macoun, Cortland, Mutsu, Golden Delicious, etc. peeled, cored and cut into thick slices
  • 2 large boneless or bone on pork chops, about 1 pound, 5 ounces
  • 1 cup apple cider or white wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large, ovenproof skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over low heat. Add the leeks, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add half the sage and the apples, more salt and pepper, and cook, very gently stirring once or twice for 2 minutes. Gently remove the leeks and apples from the skillet.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet over high heat. Add the pork, salt and pepper and half the remaining sage and brown for about 1 to 2 minutes. Gently flip the pork over and add the remaining sage, salt and pepper and brown another minute or two. Remove from the heat. Spoon the reserved leeks and apples around the pork, and pour the cider or wine on top.
  4. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pork, or until an internal thermometer registers 145 degrees. Remove from the oven and stir in the butter to the hot sauce in the bottom of the skillet. Let rest for about 3 minutes and serve hot.

Apple Chutney with Chiles, Ginger and Raisins

If you think making your own chutney requires hours of work get ready to be proven wrong. This sweet and spicy chutney is quite simple and will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. Serve with naan (Indian flatbread), or with roast chicken or pork, curries, or on a cheddar cheese sandwich.

Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 cups.


  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon very thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 1 to 2 chile peppers, deribbed, chopped with or without seeds, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, yellow or black
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 pounds apples, a variety is best, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup golden or regular raisins


  1. In a medium saucepan simmer the vinegar and sugar over moderate heat until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped and sliced ginger, the chiles, salt, mustard seeds, and turmeric. Add the apples and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the raisins and cook another 5 to 10 minutes; the chutney should be thick. Remove from heat and taste for seasoning. It should be spicy and sweet.
  2. Place in clean jars and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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