Recipe A Day #5: Green Apple Charoset

This is an intriguing and easy recipe inspired by the unusual cookbook Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule and Paulette Phlipot. It's typically eaten at Passover, but thanks to the wide, year-round availability of the sturdy and tangy Granny Smith apple, you can make this delicious and easy side dish at any time of year. Enjoy!

Green Apple Charoset

4 large Granny Smith apples, cored, quartered and diced
2 Tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pecans, well-chopped
1/3 cup of any sweet white wine

1) Stir the diced apples, chopped pecans, spices and wine in a large serving bowl until well-combined. Serve immediately!

Serves 6 or more.
Recipe Notes:
1) The most time-consuming part of this recipe is the dicing of the apples. Three ideas for making the job easier:

a) Find somebody else to do the prep work.
b) Failing that, here's a tip on technique for a faster dice process: First, quarter and core the apples, then make lengthwise cuts through each quarter (four, five or six lengthwise cuts, depending on the size of the apple and how small you want the dice). Then line the two quarters alongside each other and make crosswise cuts across each. Then, make a few desultory chops diagonally on the pieces that are left. Scrape the diced apples off the cutting board and repeat with two more quarters.
c) Finally, a bonus monotony-reducing tip: measure out a full cup of the sweet white wine and drink two-thirds of it as you chop the apples.

2) Savings idea: This recipe calls for pecans, which can be a fairly pricey item in the grocery store. Feel free to use walnuts to save a buck or two.

3) What kind of wine should you use? It almost doesn't matter. We used a simple, inexpensive box white wine with delicious results. Feel free to choose anything from Riesling to Gewurztraminer to a sweet Sauvignon Blanc. If you happen to have a drier white wine handy, you can compensate by adding more sugar to the apple mixture. Obviously don't feel any obligation to use expensive wine, since the wine in this recipe is a mere seasoning, not the main act.

4) If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container. And don't worry if the apples brown a little bit over the next few days, they'll still be delicious!

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