A Salad Bowl of Cherries

Cherry Salad with Chicken

Cherry Salad with Chicken

I LOVE cherries.  My favorite dessert of all time is cherry pie (not that cornstarch-y commercial pie either) I like the kind with a buttery, crumbly, bottom crust and a sugary lattice on top with an oozy cherry pie filling that barely holds together and bubbles through the lattice.  It may not look great…but mmmm, it tastes awesome.  With ice cream.

My family loves cherries too.  As soon as I bring home that first in-season bag of Bing Cherries (sweet cherries), I have the tell-tale pits scattered in unlikely places.  The kitchen counter, of course.  On the coasters near the TV.  In the bathroom?? Has no one in my house heard of a bowl?  As in “Life is like a bowl of cherries?”  Somehow, I guess, cherries are a grab and go fruit.  Small and convenient enough to eat just a few and just not the same when eaten out of crockery.

A few years ago, I was served a salad with Bing cherries and a cherry maple dressing.  Wow! Fresh cherries in a salad-why didn’t I think of that?  Loved it.  Here is my version with a couple of variations:

Salad with Fresh Cherries and Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups mixed salad greens (I like some romaine mixed with tender greens like, arugula, spinach and Boston lettuce)
  • 2 C. fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 C. coarsely chopped toasted* walnuts

Dressing

  • 3 TBL.  pure maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup)
  • 1 TBL unseasoned rice vinegar (or champagne, white balsamic or cherry vinegar)
  • 1 TBL. reduced cherry juice **
  • 1 TBL. mayonnaise
  • ½ C. canola oil or walnut oil (or a mixture)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Dressing

  1. Combine maple syrup, reduced cherry juice and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk in mayo.
  3. Whisk in the oil until thickened and smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
    To Pit Cherries, Press Down with a Knife

    To Pit Cherries, Press Down Gently With a Knife

    The Cherry Will Naturally Split

    The Cherry Will Naturally Split

Gather the Ingredients

Gather the Ingredients

Salad

  1. Toss greens, cherries and walnuts together.
  2. Add enough dressing to coat.
  3. Add add-ins to top, if using.
  4. Drizzle with a tiny bit more dressing.  Serve.

Add-ins: cooked chicken, cooked bacon or pancetta, breaded goat cheese***.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place walnuts on a tray and put in the hot oven.  Toast until pale brown-about 5-6  min.
  2. Put 1/3 C of pure cherry juice in a saucepan.  Boil until the juice is syrupy and reduced to about 1 tablespoon.  Let cool.
Get This Juice at Most Markets

Get This Juice at Most Markets

Reduced Cherry Juice

Reduced Cherry Juice

Breading Goat Cheese

Lightly Browned Goat Cheese

Lightly Browned Goat Cheese

Slice cold goat cheese into rounds.

Beat one egg with 1 TBL. of water.

Put bread crumbs on a plate.

Drop the goat cheese rounds in the beaten egg to coat.  Then put the cheese rounds in the bread crumbs, flipping to coat completely.  At this point, it is helpful to freeze the coated cheese for 15 minutes or so, but it is not required.  Heat some olive oil in a fry pan over medium hi heat and fry the cheese until lightly browned-about 2 minutes a side.  You are browning the breadcrumbs, but NOT melting the cheese.

Cherry Salad with Goat Cheese

Cherry Salad with Goat Cheese

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Salads

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