Gustare Oils & Vinegars, celebrating its 10th year, presents healthy and creative recipes for the perfect dinner party.
Written by Lisa Leigh Connors
Recipes by Kelly Wright
Photography by Michael Karchmer
Gustare—an Italian word that means to taste, enjoy and savor—is the name of a boutique village shop in Chatham that specializes in fine oils, vinegars and gourmet foods. Each bottle is hand-labeled, filled, corked and sealed on the premise.
Gustare Oils & Vinegars has its own test kitchen where recipes containing their artisanal products are developed and refined. With the holidays on the horizon, we asked co-owner Catherine Ferraresi and culinary advisor Kelly Wright to come up with a delicious appetizer, drink and dessert for a festive seasonal gathering. Apples were chosen as a featured ingredient on their menu. “[Apples] are a comfort food during the winter months,” says Ferraresi, adding that apples were a common thread that pulled these recipes together.
On the following pages, Gustare serves up recipes for the ultimate charcuterie board, delicious streusel stuffed apples and a festive drink called Apple of My Eye Opener made with prosecco and Gustare’s Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar.
As a child growing up on a fifth-generation apple farm, my mom frequently whipped up baked apples for a naturally sweet, yet healthy afternoon snack for me, often from apples plucked moments earlier from the trees in our yard. The memory makes me smile and my tastebuds hunger for it once again. Here, I offer a more sophisticated version of my childhood treat, chockfull of oats, nuts, dried cranberries, warming spices—and thanks to Gustare Sweet Butter Olive Oil—not a scrap of saturated fat. The ever-so-slightly tangy Gustare Bourbon Maple Balsamic Vinegar glaze adds a nice balance to the sweetness of the fruit. — Kelly Wright
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
Dietary Specifications: Dairy-free, Gluten-free
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of apple cider
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries
- 4 Gala Apples, washed and cored
- ¾ cup raw gluten-free oats
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons pecans, roughly chopped
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch 1830 Sea Salt
- 4 1/2 tablespoons Gustare Sweet Butter Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Gustare Bourbon Maple Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Bring apple cider to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Add dried cranberries and soak to reconstitute.
3. Combine oats, pecans, brown sugar and seasonings. Stir together.
4. Blend in Gustare Sweet Butter Olive Oil, stirring well to distribute evenly.
5. Drain dried cranberries, reserving apple cider for later use. Add cranberries to filling and stir well.
6. Stuff mixture into cored apples. Be sure to press filling very tightly into the cores and allow the “overflow” to create a crown over the top of each apple.
7. Place stuffed apples in shallow baking dish. Sprinkle excess streusel across the base of the dish and moisten with all reserved apple cider.
8. Bake apples uncovered for 40-45 minutes, until crisp-fork tender but not mushy.
Prepare reduction while apples are baking.
1. Bring Gustare Bourbon Maple Balsamic Vinegar and pure maple syrup to boil over high heat. Lower heat to simmer. Cook approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until balsamic is reduced to approximately ½ cup.
2. Drizzle glaze over warm apples, top with excess crispy baked streusel, and enjoy.
Serving Suggestions: The baked apples can stand deliciously on their own, but you can make them a bit more decadent by serving them warm with your favorite ice cream. Or start your morning off right with a baked apple for breakfast.
This is a nice winter cocktail for brunch or served at a casual dinner party.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 1 bottle prosecco, chilled
- 1 bottle pear nectar, chilled
- 1 quart apple cider, chilled
- Gustare Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar
- Champagne (or narrow non-stemmed) glasses, chilled
For apple garnish:
- 2 Gala apples
1. To each champagne glass, add 2 oz. of pear nectar and 1 oz. apple cider. Slowly pour in Prosecco to fill the remainder of the glass. Add ¼ tsp. of Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar and let it float.
2. Garnish with a thin slice of apple perched on the rim of the glass or a curl of a peel hanging from the glass.
Two apples should provide garnish for 6 glasses. Enjoy!
Vegetarian pâté made with spinach, leeks and carrots (watch for recipe on gustareoliveoil.com)
Fig and almond cake (Gustare)
Heirloom tomato jam, made with Gustare balsamics
Humboldt Fog cheese (Chatham Cheese Company)
Hot Italian peppers (Gustare)
Parmesan Reggiano (“It’s not just for grating,” says Catherine Ferraresi. “You can enjoy it with crackers, baguettes or grapes.”)
Stilton cheese (Chatham Cheese Company)
Prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks and flatbread
Rosemary honey with almonds (Gustare)
Sopressata and Varzi salami
Breadsticks and flatbread (Chatham Cheese Company)