This summer, fruit is in. And I don’t mean “in” like “neon and neutrals”, I mean “in” EVERYTHING. Literally. Especially with cherries being in abundance as we speak, fruit is going in every meal at my house. But how to switch it up? I mean, you can always eat a piece of fruit by itself, but there’s got to be more ways to incorporate it while celebrating the versatility of the flavors.
When I caught word that Whole Foods had both Bing and Rainier cherries in stock, I knew this summer would be full of inspired combinations, such as this beauty below:
This is a side salad I made for dinner Sunday night that was oh, so delicious. Wanna know what’s in it? (I thought you’d never ask!)
Bing Cherry Summer Salad
- 2 doz. Bing cherries, washed halved and pitted
- 2 oz. Chevre (any goat cheese will do great!)
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 5 leaves of fresh mint
- 5 leaves of fresh basil
- 1 tsp. Finn River port (reduced over medium heat till a thick glaze. This is optional and I had it on hand)
- Kosher Sea Salt for garnish
- Start by washing and drying your cherries, pulling the stems off, and then run a small pairing knife around the seam, just like you would to core a peach or other stone fruit. Twist the two sides and then pluck the pit out. Toss all your cherry halves into a salad bowl.
- Next, take your washed and dried basil and mint leaves, stack them up and cut into small slivers (also called “Chiffonade”). Sprinkle over cherries in the bowl.
- Take 2 oz of goat cheese and crumble or dice and add to your bowl.
- Drizzle the salad with the balsamic (a little goes a long way here) and the port reduction if you have it (if not, no worries, it will still be delicious!)
- Lightly sprinkle with sea salt (I have kosher on hand, but if you have another kind feel free to substitute – just be careful of using table salt – it’ll get too salty REAL quick).
- Toss the salad gently and sparingly, plate up and top with a little more basil and mint.
This salad (made with essentially 5 ingredients or so) is an easy (as in “pull together at the very last second”) dish because it requires NO cooking, little effort (about 5 minutes total) and packs a distinct, flavorful punch. Just because it’s fruit doesn’t mean it can’t be for dinner! We had this along side steamed purple and red potatoes, french green beans and baked true cod with a spiced Greek yogurt crust (equal parts ginger powder, cayenne pepper and paprika dusted over nonfat plain Greek yogurt and finished with corn flake crumbs. Baked at 400F for 13 minutes). Light, healthy and pretty tasty.
What else? Well, that was Sunday night….but Sunday afternoon, we checked out the International District Food Walk, as you can see from my trusty assistant here (Harrison):
That’s him holding his Phillapeno BBQ pork skewer and Taro bubble tea with lychee jelly (very adventurous!).
And Friday I made a run up to Bellingham to help out my sister with some last minute floral needs for a wedding she had on Saturday, so I got to see the ankle biters…and you know I can’t resist sharing a picture of them!
Later this week I’ll be experimenting with Rainier cherries, baking and roasting them, so keep your eyes peeled, and tell me, what’s your favorite dish or recipe for fresh, in season cherries????