My family recently changed the way we celebrated holidays. For years, we would cram millions of aunts, uncles, and cousins into the smallest kitchens and living rooms available. The counters and tables would be lined with casserole dishes and pie plates, filled with traditional foods. Wedding soup would have been on the stove and a ham in the oven. Sadly, the holidays of my youth are no more. Instead, we decided to follow the crowd and implement holiday brunches. The times may have changed, as well as some of the food selections, but I am thankful for this time together and that we do not need to turn on the air conditioner for every holiday now.
While we do still include our traditional foods, such as the wedding soup and ham, this recent change has allowed us a little more versatility in our holiday menu. One of the recent additions to our Easter brunch menu was my version of Charoset. Charoset is a paste made of nuts and fruits. It is a traditional part of the Passover Seder meal. I drew my inspiration from the Ashkenazi, or the Eastern European version of Charoset. It is a combination of walnuts and apples, mixed with wine, sugar, and cinnamon.
This recipe is a perfect combination of sweet and spicy. It paired perfectly with the Easter ham and would work well year round with prosciutto, but is fantastic on its own.
Apples play the star role in this recipe, as a great source Vitamin C and a natural source of fiber. Arugula microgreens, the other important player here, are more flavorful and 10-15 times more nutrient dense then regular arugula, which is already a rich source of phytochemicals. The phytochemicals naturally occurring in Arugula specifically, have been found to inhibit the carcinogenic effects of estrogen. Papa Vince EVOO and Moscato vinegar also play an important role, livening up the ingredients and adding multiple health benefits, such as providing heart-healthy antioxidants. Walnuts are another heart-healthy ingredients, as a great source of Omega 3 and helps lower cholesterol.
Apple and Walnut Salad with a Honey Cinnamon Vinaigrette
4 Honey Crisp Apples, diced
1/2 cup Green Grape, sliced
2 cups Arugula Microgreens (regular Arugula works well, too)
1 cup Sweet and Spicy Walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Honey Cinnamon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Papa Vince Moscato Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Papa Vince Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Papa Vince EVOO
The dressing itself would work well on any fresh salad year round. I used a previous recipe that I had for the sweet and spicy walnuts, but you can use plain walnuts, as well. I sprinkled a little goat cheese on at the end, but it is not a necessary addition.
This is a recipe that was shared by one of our loyal Papa Vince customers. They joined us on our Olive Harvest Tour in Sicily last year and came back with a love in their hearts for Sicily and all things Papa Vince.
We love our customers to share their healthy recipe ideas with us and we can't wait to try this dish ourselves, what better combination than chicken, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms.
We met Teresa in Messina who invited us into her beautiful Italian home & showed us how to make some of her favorite family recipes. This Linguine recipe is one that she started making just to get creative in the kitchen. The combination of the anchovies and the omega 9 fatty acids in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil make this a health boosting recipe. If you're concerned about the linguine and want a more nutritious option, why not use Papa Vince Tumminia Pasta which is made with ancient grain and contains 6 times more fiber than regular pasta.