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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Balsamic-Soaked Apples with Arugula and Macadamia Nuts

Because appetizers are fun and fancy!

It's that time again: Time to start throwing TONS of recipes into contests.  So, the good news is, I have lots of good ideas for new recipes.  The bad news is, I'm losing my job.  Again.  So I'm hoping one (or more!) of these recipes hits it big again soon!  There's a hefty contest going on at Better Recipes and this month's theme is appetizers.  So let's start there, shall we?  [You can vote for this recipe here.]

I actually came up with this recipe idea while driving home from visiting family last weekend.  The funny thing is, I don't even like arugula.  But it's a buzz word, a trendy ingredient.  So I used it anyway.  As it turns out, when you put the hot apples over the arugula, the leaves begin to wilt and soften, and are laced with the balsamic vinegar, and turn from bitter and weird into totally flippin' awesome.  True story.

This would make a lovely appetizer for Thanksgiving.  Not that any of you reading this are still trying to come up with what to serve for the big meal in less than 24 hours.  Even I finished all of my grocery shopping yesterday!  Success!

I won't be making this tomorrow, but I will be whipping up spaghetti squash with balsamic veggies as well as this risotto and some kind of potato/corn/ranch dressing hodgepodge.  It's going to be epic.

 1 Tbsp vegan butter
1 large apple, cored and sliced 1/4"
1 large shallot, diced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup fresh baby arugula

 In a large saute pan, melt butter and add apples and shallots.  Simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar and stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.  Continue to simmer over medium heat until vinegar has reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Divide the arugula among four small plates, top with apple mixture and sprinkle with macadamia nuts.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4

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