Grilled Granny Smith Apple Caprese
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt divided (into ½ teaspoon each)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 medium-large green Granny Smith apples from North Carolina, cored and cut into 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick slices (about 2 pounds)
16 oz. sliced, fresh mozzarella cheese
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
½ cup fresh basil leaves
4 to 6 thinly sliced pieces prosciutto
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
Combine first six ingredients in a large plastic freezer bag. Add apples, seal and shake gently to coat. Chill one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake slices of prosciutto on an ungreased cookie sheet for eight minutes or until crisp. Then cool and crumble.
Using a medium-size frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of sea salt and one teaspoon of garlic powder until butter is melted and the ingredients are warm. Then add chopped pecans and toast in mixture to create your flavored pecan topping.
Preheat grill 350 to 400 degrees (medium-high) heat. Spray grill with nonstick spray. Remove apples from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill apples, cover with grill cover lid, 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until tender and grill marks appear.
Arrange alternating slices of warm grilled apple slices, basil and mozzarella cheese on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle with reserved marinade, season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with crumbled prosciutto and toasted pecans.
Lisa’s Notes: Marci Rakshys of Durham won the blue ribbon with her creative twist on the Caprese Salad using NC apples.