Falling Fall Fruit Platter

A ripe pear, a crisp fall apple, ruby-red grapes and the sensual, delicate fig.  I love to enjoy the fruits of the season and sometimes the most simple ways are the best!  I can be oh so happy and satisfied with a plate of fresh fall fruit, a small piece of white aged cheddar and a glass of Cabernet!

Now my son would not be happy with a plate of fruit for dinner.  So having some Italian sausage on hand, I prepared an Autumn Sausage and Apple dish.  In a large skillet I sautéed a few Italian sausage links until they were nicely browned, but not yet cooked through.  I then added a thinly sliced medium onion, dried oregano, sage and thyme and cooked until the onion became soft and was beginning to brown.  I added one apple, peeled and sliced into wedges.  To deglaze the pan and add some additional liquid, I poured in about 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar and a few tablespoons of chicken stock.  I covered the pan slightly allowing all the ingredients to simmer slowly and finish cooking.  The apples became very tender, the onions caramelized soft and the sausage was crispy, moist and flavorful.

Falling Fall Fruit Platter

Serves 2

1 ripe pear of your choice
1 apple of your choice
1/2 cup seedless red grapes, halved
2 – 3 figs, quartered
2-3 tablespoons walnuts or pecans

For the dressing:
Juice of one orange, about 5 tablespoons
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
salt & pepper

Prepare the dressing by heating the orange juice, honey and marmalade until dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add the Grand Marnier and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut up the fruit and combine with the nuts on a plate or bowl.  Drizzle the warm dressing all over.  Serve at once.  Leftovers can be refrigerated and used within a day.