The Apple of My Eye — Simple Scratch Cooking

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Apple-Cheddar Squash Soup

Apple-Cheddar-Soup

Yellow soup topped with shredded cheese, herbs, bacon and cracked black pepper

©Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

If I say apple, what kind of recipe comes to mind? I’m betting most of you thought about pie, and for a good reason. Who can resist tender apples tucked into a flaky, buttery crust? Once you get past the many variations of this classic American dessert, though, there’s a whole world of savory dishes to explore.

Apples work especially well with assertively flavored ingredients. The natural sweetness shines through when it’s sauteed or roasted, helping to temper earthy root vegetables and spicy foods. Last year one of my favorite combinations was roasting it with parsnips and onions. I’d give the whole thing a whirl in the blender with some vegetable broth for a thick, creamy, dairy-free soup (and vegan, too).

In my cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen, coming out later this month, I pair paper-thin slices of Granny Smith apples with pancetta and cheddar cheese for a grown-up twist on the basic grilled cheese. When I was a kid, my mom always served applesauce with pork chops, which is why I love Tyler Florence’s riff on this classic combo. Here are a few more apple-centric savory recipes from Food Network that are sure to become family favorites:

Jennifer Perillo is a recipe developer and food writer living in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her recipes and tips for feeding families homemade meals are a regular feature in Working Mother magazine, where she’s the consulting food editor, as well Relish Magazine , Parenting , Kiwi and her blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen.

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