Gingered Three-Apple Salad has a sweet and tart crunch
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
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Saying it's a lousy year for Michigan apple farmers is a gross understatement. According to a recent article in Ann Arbor.com, "...The problem is widespread: Michigan only will produce about 3 million bushels of apples this year, compared to the 20 to 23 million produced during a normal season, according to the Michigan Apple Committee."
But there are still apples available to sort through - particularly on road side stands if heading North the view the colors - and what I've sampled have been tasty. The following recipe is a very big batch, serving up to 12-16 people, but it may be quartered or divided to suit your needs. The recipe would be wonderful, indeed, served right up through Thanksgiving.
I used Prime Gold, Gala and Empire apples. Red and green Galas are always great in salads, the red Empires would lend a pleasing sweet and tart crunch, and the green Prime Golds flavor would complement the other two.
The cream cheese mixture may be made up to 48 hours in advance, omitting grated ginger. The salad, including ginger, may be made up to 4 hours in advance of serving. Before serving, stir and garnish. The dressing would also double as a delicious fresh fruit dip.
Yield: 3 1/4 cups dressing (approx. 16 cups of salad)
Time: 1 hour (much less if you're dividing the recipe)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened (12 ounces)
2 cups whole milk yogurt (I prefer strained Greek-style)
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons freshly grated (not chopped) ginger root
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, divided
1/2 peck (12 medium) assorted apples, washed, cored, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts or pecans plus 1/2 cup
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, divided, optional
1. In a food processor or mixer, combine cream cheese, yogurt, honey and ginger. Stir in 1 tablespoon of parsley.
2. Squeeze lemon juice over cut apple pieces. Combine with the yogurt mixture and 1 1/2 cups nuts.
3. Place in large bowl or serving dish. Sprinkle finished salad with remaining parsley, walnuts and dried fruit.