There’s nothing like the perfect picnic or barbecue to slow down and reconnect with friends and family. This season, gather together guests and surprise them with a rustic backyard picnic, starring recipes that bring out the flavor of apples — a versatile and healthy year-round fruit.

Filled with healthy antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, apples add a flavorful twist to classic picnic fare.

For more recipes and inspiration, go to www.treetop.com.

Apple tortellini salad

Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons concentrate apple juice, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • Ground pepper to taste

Salad:

  • 9 ounces cheese-filled tortellini
  • 2 cups sliced apples
  • 2 cups shredded salad greens
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup thinly sliced celery
  • ½ cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)

Directions

  1. To prepare dressing, combine apple juice concentrate, corn syrup, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic salt and pepper. Cover dressing and refrigerate.
  2. To prepare salad, cook tortellini, drain and cool by rinsing pasta under cold water. Shake gently to drain thoroughly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine tortellini, apples, salad greens, strawberries, celery and scallions. Toss salad gently with chilled dressing.
  4. Serve chilled.
  5. If desired, sprinkle with pine nuts.

Servings: 6 to 8

Spiced pork and apple burger with maple Dijon

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 pounds ground pork ½ cup applesauce
  • 1½ teaspoons salt 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 6 hamburger buns
  • Baby spinach leaves

Directions

  1. Stir maple syrup and mustard together in a small bowl. Set aside. Spray a large non-stick grill pan or griddle with cooking spray and place over medium to medium high heat.
  2. Mix pork, apple sauce, salt, chili powder, dry mustard, pepper and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl. Form mixture into 6 patties. Place patties in pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, turn and cook additional 4 to 5 minutes or until done.
  3. To serve, spread bun bottoms with maple mustard mixture. Top each with a patty, spinach leaf and bun top. If desired, toast buns and top with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, pickles, tomatoes or other favorite toppings. Serve with crispy sweet potato fries and steamed beans for an easy but special meal.

Servings: 6

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