There's me, smoking and roasting pork on the barbecue next to a tree full of apples. There must be a way to use these. So I pulled three of them off the tree and put them on a sheet of tinfoil near the coals. Took the dog for a walk and shortly afterwards, it became a delicious, smokey salad, with the slow roasted sweetness of apple and kumara, the smokiness from the BBQ, along with a tangy pop of lemon juice and paprika. The salad was delicious, complex, and perfect for summer. Recipe below.
3 Medium Apples, (A tangy, crunchy variety is best)
A couple of handfuls of Applewood chips, soaked in water or a crisp white wine
200g of Walnuts, Chopped
1 Medium Orange Kumara, peeled and diced into 1 cm chunks.
10 Cloves of Garlic
1 Red Onion, peeled and finely sliced
3 Shoots of Spring Onion, finely sliced
A Small Handful of fresh Oregano
1 Teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
Juice of one Lemon
Flaky Sea Salt
Get BBQ coals smouldering and covered in white ash. Scatter the applewood chips directly on the coals.
Cover half the grill with tinfoil, and put the apples on. Shut the lid on the BBQ, vents half open for half an hour. That'l really get things nice and smokey. Once the half hour is up, open the vents and stoke the coals opposite the apples (the ones that aren't directly underneath the apples). Cover and roast for 2 hours, turning them at the halfway mark.
While that's going, boil the kumara with the cloves of garlic. When the kumara is nearly tender strain it out and allow it to cool. Leave the garlic to boil for another
In a large frying pan with a lug of olive oil and gently saute the red onion on a medium-high heat until it starts to caramelize. Add the paprika, mix it through.
Drain the poached garlic. Gently peel it; they'll be very soft. Once peeled, cut in half lengthways. Throw them in with the onions. Continue to saute, then add the kumara, another lug of olive oil and then crank up the heat. Toss in the frying pan until you start to get some good caramelization on the kumara.
Once you're at that stage, add the lemon juice. The aim here is to cook off the liquid, and leave behind the sweet and sour taste, leaving everything a little bit sticky and delicious. Push it until the caramelization process starts again, then throw in the spring onions and walnuts for the last minute.
At this stage transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and a grind of pepper, then toss through the fresh oregano leaves.
Check on the the apples. I called them done when the colour of the apple's skin changes completely, and the top and bottom of the apples are soft. They'll still be crunchy on the inside, but hot.
Core the apples then cut into chunks. Toss them through the rest of the salad with another drizzle of olive oil. Make sure the mixture is well combined.
Transfer to a nice serving dish and serve as a refreshing but solid side to a hearty piece of meat.