Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cherries, Cherries, Cherries

I love June! It’s all about cherries. Whether you like the dark sweet variety or the beautiful Rainier cherries from Washington State, this is your time of the year. Here are a couple of easy and beautiful recipes that can be made with fresh, (Yey!), or even frozen cherries. Enjoy!

Cherry Salsa
1 LB Dark Sweet Cherries, pitted and chopped
2 TB Fresh Lime Juice
Zest of 1 Lime
½  Cup Cherry Preserves
2 TB Minced Red Onion
1 Whole, Finely Chopped Jalapeno, Ribs and Seeds removed
2 TB Finely Chopped Cilantro

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and stir to blend. Cover and chill 1-2 hours to blend flavors. Serve with grilled meat, or with chips as an appetizer.

Ancient Grains Salad with Cherries and Cashews

1 Cup Red Quinoa
2 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
½ Cup Basil, Chopped or Chiffonade
2 Cups Pitted Fresh Cherries
½ Cup *Lightly Salted and Peppered Toasted Cashew Pieces
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
**1 Recipe Easy Balsamic Dressing in a Jar

Add 2 Cups water, quinoa, and pinch of salt into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat, covered, and cook for about 10 - 12 minutes, until quinoa had started to bloom. (Small tendrils will appear.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with fork. Stir in the spinach and cover again for 5-8 minutes, allowing the to wilt the spinach. Add in the basil, cherries, and cashews. Taste for salt and pepper, and season. Drizzle the dressing into the salad and toss.

*Lightly Salted and Peppered Toasted Cashew Pieces

1 Cup Cashew Pieces
1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Place the cashews on a sheet pan and slide into a 400F oven. Roast for 7 – 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove, toss with the olive oil and then light sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground black pepper over the nuts. Set aside to cool for a minute – the cashews will “crisp” up.

**Easy Balsamic Dressing in a Jar

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TB Stone Ground Mustard
3 TB Balsamic Vinegar (you can use any balsamic, even flavored ones like cherry, fig or blueberry)
½ Tsp Sea Salt
¼ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Shake all the ingredients together in a jar

Although we don’t grow many cherries in Georgia, we do grow some. And we have many other wonderful fruits and veggies here in the state. If you want to find out what's in season or pick your own, here are two great resources, both in Georgia:

These recipes originally appeared in the Friday Four, my weekly e-zine that contains a delicious, healthy recipe, a wine pairing and two kitchen tips. Sign up for it here:

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