So when my BFFs at Frieda's Specialty Produce recently sent me three varieties of apples to try (along with other goodies), I was giddy.
The three they sent me were the Cox's Orange Pippin (orange tinged skin, nutty flavor), the Ribston Pippin (high vitamin C, yellow flesh with a hint of pear), and the Cortland (sweet-tart) which was the only one I was familiar with.
It was fun tasting them. I'd try one and decide it was my favorite, then try another and decide that was better, then the third and know that was the best. Then go back to the beginning and decide that, no, that was the best. Sigh. Useless. They were all good, and I couldn't make up my mind.
I decided to do a little cooking with them, making a little side dish to go along with a pork roast that was on the menu. Apples and pork are just about the perfect pairing. Since I wanted this as a side dish rather than a dessert, I didn't add any sugar at all.
And then I added some zaatar, which is a middle-eastern spice mix. For some reason, zaatar reminds me of pizza. Everyone thinks that's crazy. So just ignore my opinion and taste it for yourself.
Sauteed Apples with Zaatar
1 tablespoon butter
3 apples, cored, peeled, cut into large dice
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon zaatar
Melt the butter over medium heat on a small saute pan.
Add the apples, salt and zaatar and cook, stirring as needed, until the apples are cooked through - or as much as you like - but aren't so soft that they're falling apart.
None of the apple varieties I used were the type that disintegrate when cooked, so they held their shape nicely.
Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or chilled.