Cherry season is just a fleeting moment of time. The crop is susceptible to changes in spring weather and one minute our tree is full, the next minute the birds have eaten EVERYTHING. I love getting the whole family out to pick cherries and creating lots of savory foods and sweets. My husband decided to go cold stone creamery style and roll fresh cherries and chocolate chips into vanilla ice cream. YUM!
We harvested our cherries in two picks this year. One a little less ripe-tangy with lots of acid. Another pick was juicy sweet and more complex in flavor.
Cherry is one of the basic fruit descriptors found in many rosé and red wines. It’s often the first fruit flavor recognized because of it’s familiarity and it is characteristic across many grape varietals. Descriptors can range by type of specific cherry-Bing, Rainier, and black to name a few-all the way to cherry cough syrup.
Like olives, sometimes it’s best to pit them. In this recipe I use a stainless cherry pitter that I purchased primarily to help my kids develop small motor skills. I really love this tool because it takes out the pit and saves all the fleshy fruit.
I created this recipe to pair cherry and basil. I love the sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors. The cherry component really matches a wide array of wines and makes a great side dish for summer grilling. I’m taking this to a Memorial Day BBQ this weekend!
Cherry Caprese Salad
3 C pitted cherries, halved
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 C basil
2 T olive oil
2 t balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Place the mozzarella on a plate, top each piece with fresh basil. Carefully, mound cherries on the basil leaf.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top with balsamic glaze and enjoy!
The cherry flavor compliments the similar flavors in rosé and red wines. The basil adds spice. You can add this side dish to your BBQ and sip Barbera, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon or Sangiovese.