One of the star ingredients of Fall are without a doubt apples. Every fall I try to incorporate them in just about any dish that I can. Whether it be in sauces, juices, soups, desserts or cocktails. This season I came up with an idea for a salsa to be paired with venison and wild boar. Most of my grilling and live fire cooking takes place in the Fall and Winter being that I live in the southern United States. So I decided to grill the apples for this salsa, which is super convenient while grilling your meats for your meal.
If you aren't able to use a grill, you can easily cook the apples in a cast iron pan on your stove top. If you have a deep ridge grill pan, that works even better.
3 firm fleshed apples, cut in half ( Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith)
1 small red onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy bottomed skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and garlic. Cook until tender and slightly caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and rosemary and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and pour the contents into a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Lightly brush the cut apples with a little olive oil. Grill flesh side down until slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Turn the apples over, skin side down and move to a cooler section of your grill. This is usually near the front of most grills. Close the lid and cook for another 5 minutes or until the apples are just tender. Remove from the grill and let cool to room temperature.
Place the apples on a cutting board. Cut the flesh from around the core. This will take 4 cuts in a square fashion. Discard the core. Cut the apples into about a1/4" to 1/2 inch dice. If your apples are too tender to dice, just roughly chop them. Set aside.
In your large bowl holding the onions and garlic, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey and lemon zest. Mix well until the honey is dissolved. Add in the apples and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.