I like to use one red apple and one green apple, putting one slice of each on each serving plate. Try apples that are both sweet and tart, and that are juicy enough to not dry out on the grill. Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Gala, Rhode Island Greening, Karmijn de Sonnaville, Esopus Spitzenberg and Newton Pippin would all be great.

A killer app: quick to make, lovely to behold, and perfect with a glass of tart sparkling cider. I like the gentle creaminess of creme fraiche here, but there’s something to be said for the extra tang of sour cream, and sour cream definitely holds up better atop the hot apple rings. A slash of balsamic across the rings is both eye-catching and lip-smacking, but it may be gilding the lily. You decide.


Makes four first-course servings.

4 ounces smoked trout

2 large apples, one red, one green

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 ounces sour cream or creme fraiche

Zest of 1/2 lemon for garnish

Fennel fronds, for garnish

Balsamic vinegar (optional)

1. Divide the trout into 8 equal pieces.

2. Preheat a grill.

3. Core the apples and slice them into 1/4-inch-thick rings. You should get at least four nice slices out of each apple, plus some ends that can be used or ignored.

4. Brush the apples with the oil.

5. Lower the grill heat. Grill the apples three minutes on one side, then turn and grill three minutes on the other side.

6. Remove the apple slices to individual serving plates (two per plate). Add a dollop of sour cream (off-center, please), lean a plank of smoked trout against it, and garnish with lemon zest and fennel fronds. If you are using the balsamic vinegar, simply drizzle a thin line across each ring. Serve immediately.