I guess I am enamored by apples this holiday. I have used them in several dishes and even in my centerpiece on the main dining table. Roasting apples is a very simple thing to do, yet I find them elegant especially when paired with shallots and cranberries on a sheet pan. This dish is savory in flavor, rather than sweet. A dash of white balsamic vinegar and a smattering of fresh sage wakes the apples and shallots up just before being put on the table. For dramatic yet rustic effect, I sometimes slice one apple in half and keep the seeds and stem. To me, it adds to the simpleness of the recipe - and we eat around them. Firm baking apples work best here, like Pink Lady or Honey Crisp. Other apples fall apart too easily and make a mess on the sheet pan.
- 3 apples washed, skin-on, core removed (I like Pink Lady or Honey Crisp)
- 3 shallots, peeled and cut in half long-ways
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic or champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage + a few small whole leaves to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut one apple in half. Slice the other two into quarters or thirds. Place in a large mixing bowl along with the shallots. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Using your hands or tongs, toss until they’re fully coated.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet, making sure the apples and shallots have plenty of space between each other. Transfer to the center rack in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Flip the apples and shallots halfway through with the tongs.
Add the cranberries to the bowl used to mix the apples and shallots with the olive oil. There should be a little olive oil pooled in the bottom. Toss the cranberries in the bit of oil to coat.
Scatter the cranberries on the sheet pan amongst the apples and shallots. Continue roasting for 10 more minutes.
Remove from the oven and let settle 2-3 minutes. Serve directly from the sheet pan or transfer to a platter or bowl. Drizzle with the vinegar and add the sage just before putting on the table.