At the beginning of the 20th century, North America was home to 7,000 named apple varieties. Less than a quarter of that number exist today. The Historic Orchard at Heritage Farm contains hundreds of 19th-century apple varieties. The yellow-splashed apples in the crockery pie plate above are ‘Duchess of Oldenburg,’ a tart, crisp variety that originated in Russia and was brought to the United States from England in 1835. These apples are ripe in August and are delicious when eaten fresh or baked in pies.
APPLE SALAD WITH PECORINO ROMANO
2 tbsp sherry, sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup smokehouse almonds, or roasted almonds
1/4 cup shaved or grated Pecorino
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
Core apples, slice as thinly as possible and place in a bowl. Toss apples with sherry or vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop almonds and toss with the apples. Sprinkle shaved or grated cheese atop apple salad. This mix would be excellent on top of fresh spinach or arugula, or topped with prosciutto or cooked bacon.
The Seed Savers Exchange is a nonprofit network of gardeners dedicated to preserving and sharing heirloom seeds.