Is it weird that I’m scared of nutmeg? There are certain herbs and spices that I just know and others that kind of intimidate me; nutmeg is one of them. Nutmeg has a strong, assertive flavor–use too much and your dish is ruined! So usually when I cook with nutmeg, I put in a teeny tiny pinch and hope for the best. But you know what? I needed to get over that fear, so I added a whopping quarter teaspoon of nutmeg to this recipe. I’m living on the edge here, right?
This recipe was part of McCormick’s Go 4 Gourmet challenge. I was given 4 ingredients and instructions to use them to create a recipe. Any recipe! Whatever I wanted! Well, anything as long as it included nutmeg, apples, chestnuts, and farro. In addition to being scared of nutmeg, I’ve never cooked with chestnuts before, so this lived up to its name as a challenge. My first thought was to use the farro and chestnuts to make a savory stuffing for the apples and although I later had some other ideas too, the stuffed apples were my favorite so I decided to stick with them.
Baked apples are usually sweet, but if you’ve had apples with cheese before, you know that they work well with savory flavors too. I added Parmesan cheese, sautéed onions, and vegetarian sausage to play up the savory side of the recipe, since both the chestnuts and apples fall on the sweeter side of the spectrum. Nutmeg works with both sweet and savory flavors, so it was the perfect spice to bring the two together. These savory baked apples make a delicious fall dinner and they’d even be great as a vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving!
Go 4 Gourmet isn’t just for food bloggers–you can come up with your own creation and enter to win on the Go 4 Gourmet contest page. I’d love to see your ideas for these 4 ingredients!
- 4 large apples (I used Honeycrisp)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅓ cup diced yellow onion
- 1 large vegetarian sausage, crumbled (I used Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage)
- ⅓ cup farro, cooked according to package directions
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- ¼ cup chopped chestnuts
- ¼ teaspoon McCormick ground nutmeg
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Use an apple corer to core each apple, then use a paring knife to widen the hole in the center to 1½ to 2 inches. You need room for all that tasty stuffing! Put the apples in a small baking dish that’s been sprayed with oil or cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crumbled sausage and cook about 3 minutes more, or until browned.
- Combine the onion and sausage with the farro, ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, chestnuts, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt.
- Use a spoon to stuff the farro filling into each apple. Pack them as full as you can! Top each apple with a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Spray a piece of foil with oil or cooking spray and use it to cover the baking dish (sprayed side down–this keeps the cheese from sticking to the foil). Bake the apples for 20 minutes covered, then 15-20 minutes more uncovered, or until the cheese is golden brown and the apples are tender.
Disclosure: McCormick compensated me for the time spent developing and photographing this recipe. Sponsored Recipes are a once-a-month feature on Potluck-–our sponsors help make this blog possible!