At this time of year, despite the best efforts of technology, those pretty apples in the supermarket taste tired. But wait! Green apples, not so little but with a lively color, have appeared among the red and the gold. Green apples? At this time of year? Yes! Try one. Is it fresh? Firm-textured? Nearly tart, but still pleasant?

If the answers to all three questions are yes, you've met a Cape Granny Smith apple, the most welcome addition to our local fruit and vegetable display counters since been sprouts.

These apples were developed over a century ago in Australia by Mrs. Thomas ("Granny") Smith. Imported from the southern hemisphere (South Africa at this season), they are shipped fresh and arrive with a texture and taste that immediately reduces "Delicious" to "mundane." The cost, however, is competitive.

Eat them as they are, use them in summer salads (after rubbing the slices with a lemon wedge to prevent discoloration), baked goods or cooked with meat. They will be around until the end of August. Here, as a suggestion, is a recipe for cooked apples from the Culinary Institute of American.

APPLE RELISH 12 tart apples, cored and coarsely chopped 2 cups sugar 2/3 cup water 2/3 cup chopped walnuts 2 cups raisins 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cut dark rum 1/3 teaspoon salt

Combine apples, sugar and water in a pot and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Pass through a strainer or food mill. While still hot, mix in the walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, rum and salt. Cool and chill for 24 hours before serving with cold or hot pork, game or pate.