A couple weeks ago I shared photos of my apple tree all dripping with big fat apples and as usual a couple of you did comment “Isn’t it very early for apple season?” The answer is yes! These are summer apples – at least that’s what I call them because for over a decade now this little tree has been fruiting in summertime in July/August. The apples are called Anna apples and according to Wikipedia they are early fruiting variety that do well in warmer climates.
From Wikipedia ” Anna apple is a dual purpose cultivar of domesticated apple that is very early ripening and does well in warm climates. Anna was introduced to the U.S. in 1959. Anna was bred by Abba Stein at the Ein Shemer kibbutz in Israel in order to achieve a Golden Delicious-like apple that can be cultivated in nearly tropical areas.
A regular apple needs over 500 hours of chilling in order to get in blossom, but Anna flourishes even with less than 300 hours so it can be grown in warm climates. It is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 5–9.
Now let me share with you how we eat our Anna apples. First off we do eat them every day because you know the old English proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” holds true even today. But when we have loads and loads of apples its hard to go through them fast enough and I end up using some in cakes like this all time favorite fresh apple ginger cake and in salads.
To show off the delicious Anna apple in a salad we keep the ingredients to a minimum – just apples, salad greens and onions that are tossed with a fruity balsamic vinaigrette. The salad is sweet and crunchy with a tang from the vinaigrette. And its delicious! Try it with summer fruiting Anna apples or with any variety of sweet crunchy apples.
Summer Apple Salad
- 1 Anna apple
- 4 cups of salad greens
- A few thinly sliced onion
- 1 small lemon
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Cut Annal apples into chunks and place them at the bottom of a salad bowl. Top the apples with the sliced onion. Squeeze some lemon juice over the apples to prevent them from browning. Top with salad greens. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Right before serving, toss the salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Serve immediately.