It’s easy to speed through the Central Valley of California or roll along the farm-bounded country roads less traveled, and find some great fresh fruits, nuts and delicious vegetables, especially during summer. If you find yourself in the heart of some of the world’s most productive farmland, grab yourself some fresh delicious cherries,– season is closing – ( although some might argue- you can find cherries year round here ) Touring California you can see some familiar classics, like garnet-colored, ultra-juicy California Bing, others types less well known, like Coral Champagne cherries, a sweet and firm cherry that ripens a little earlier in the year.
I canned a bushel of cherries in June, made cherries in brandy, for holiday gift giving– and now, I’m focused on making delicious sweet yet tart, cherry vinaigrettes. So delicious on crisp summer salads and spectacular with grilled foods. Enjoy.
1 cup dark red ripe cherries,pitted
2 Tablespoons local organic honey
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and rough chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and root trimmed
1/4 cup good quality extra virginolive oil
Scant Cinnamon ( optional )
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
In a stand blender or the bowl of your food processor— add the cherries, honey, lemon juice, vinegar, shallot and garlic clove. Cover and process until the cherries look like a smooth puree.
With the mixer running, gradually add the oil in a slow steady stream until the combination has become emulsified and creamy.
Season with salt and pepper as needed. Immediately dress a salad, or something fun like smokey grilled pork chops. The dressing thickens over time, so add a touch of warm water to reconstitute. Keep up to a week refrigerated air-tight.
photo credit: chefs resource