Sunday, February 23, 2014

Baked Apple Tomato Basil Tower



Hello Lovelies!

Happy weekend, happy sunshine if you are here in the Big Apple!  It's gorgeous out!  The sun is warm, and the farmer's markets are buzzing with New Yorker's itching to catch some rays.  I found myself at my happy places yesterday, both the Farmer's Market and Barnes and Noble in Union Square.  I bought Daikon Radishes, Sunchokes, Tomatoes, fresh Basil and Empire Apples.  And I only spent $18!! I wasn't even planning on buying the tomatoes, but I hadn't had lunch yet, and those juicy red ones were just calling out my name!  It was strange, I suddenly needed to have a tomato.  So of course fresh basil would naturally go with.  I left thinking lunch would be a Caprese Salad minus the dairy.  But when I got home I was thinking Baked Apples.  So I decided to combine the two.  It sounds odd to pair a sweet and tart baked apple with tomatoes and Basil, but my instincts kept telling me this would be delicious.  Something about the sweet and the savory...

So I popped a sliced apple in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes on a greased baking tray (give or take), and when that came out of the oven smelling like apple pie, I knew this was going to be a delight.  I sprinkled a little Nutmeg on the apples and prepared the apple tomato tower.  I washed and sliced the juiciest tomato out of the three I had bought into 1/4-3/8 inch thick slices.  I added some olive oil and Organic balsamic vinegar to the base of the plate, followed by a few pieces of fresh Basil.  I let that soak for a bit.  Then I added two tomato slices sandwiched by more Basil.  And topped with more Basil one 3/8 thick slice of juicy baked apple.  I used my Empire apples because they are the most tart and perfect for baking.  You know those apples, the ones that don't loose their sweetness in any way, just one bite actually tastes like apple pie minus the calories.  Once that was done I opened my pantry to see what superfoods I had hanging around.  I sprinkled chia and raw sprouted pumpkin seeds, sea salt and pepper on top along with some extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I was pleased.  I was even more pleased when I tasted it!  It was perfection.  

Come on, despite the fact that you think this combo is off beat, You know you wanna try it!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Fresh Basil
1 Tomato
1 Dessert Apple 
Extra Light Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar 
Sea Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg (or Cinnamon)
Pumpkin Seeds-Superfood
Chia Seeds-Superfood

DIRECTIONS:

Baked Apples:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F 
Grease a baking sheet covered with tin foil
Wash apples and slice 3/8 inch thick
Place apples on baking tray and bake for approximately 15 minutes (give or take)
Remove from heat
Sprinkle a little Nutmeg on top of the apples
Let cool

Tomato Tower:
Wash tomatoes and slice 1/4-3/8 inch thick
Add a drizzle of Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar to the base of your plate 
Add washed fresh Basil to plate
Place tomato slice on top of Basil
Add more fresh Basil
Place another slice of tomato on top
Add more Basil
Place baked hot apple on top of Basil
Drizzle more Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar to dish
Add a pinch or two of chia seeds
Add a pinch or two of pumpkin seeds
Sea Salt/Black Pepper to taste

Serves 1.  (with leftovers)

ADDITIONAL TIPS:
I use Organic Balsamic Vinegar because I like the taste.  
I also use Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds.  Raw seeds are dehydrated at a lower temperature keeping the nutrients and vitamins intact and very much alive.
I use Empire Apples because they are super tart, and the tart and sweetness is not removed when baking.  Any dessert apple will do.

Enjoy!! xx Julie



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