This recipe is brought to you by the California Walnut Commission. Recipe copyright ©2003 by the American Heart Association. Look for other delicious recipes in American Heart Association cookbooks, available from booksellers everywhere.
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped California walnuts
- 8 California walnut halves
- 4 ounces low-fat turkey sausage, casings removed
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon brandy or white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach, cut into thin strips
- 1 slice multi-grain bread, torn into small pieces (about 1 cup)
- 8 large Granny Smith apples (about 5 ounces each) or other baking apple such as Rome, Braeburn, or Gala
- 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Put the chopped walnuts and walnut halves on a large nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until toasted and light golden brown.
- Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack to cool, leaving the oven temperature at 350°F.
- In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage for 4 to 5 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center, stirring occasionally to break up the meat. Transfer the sausage to a colander and rinse with hot water to remove excess fat. Drain well. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
- In the same skillet, cook the shallots and 2 tablespoons broth over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the shallots are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the brandy and 1/4 cup broth, scraping up any browned bits into the liquid. Stir in the thyme; cook for 30 seconds to infuse the flavor into the sauce, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the spinach, bread, chopped walnuts, and sausage until moistened and well mixed.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a 1/2-inch slice off the top of each apple. (Leave the stem intact for presentation if desired.)
- Using a melon baller, remove and discard the core and seeds. Hollow out the apple to a 1/2-inch shell.
- Coarsely chop enough removed apple to measure 1 1/2 cups. Stir the chopped apple into the stuffing mixture.
- Spoon the stuffing into the apple shells.
- Spoon 1/2 cup broth into the stuffed apples, using about 1 tablespoon for each.
- Place the apple tops over the stuffing.
- Put the apples into a nonstick 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the apples are tender but not mushy. To serve, put each apple on a plate, set the apple top slightly askew, and place a toasted walnut half on top of the exposed stuffing.