School is out for summer vacation! Time to slow down, relax and make some great food. Right now, it is all about cherry season.
Cherries, like any fruit, make a great pair with grilled meats. The sweetness of the fruit combined with the smoky flavor that comes from cooking meat on the grill is a dinner everyone around here enjoys.
Extra-virgin olive oil, a splash of white balsamic vinegar, chopped cherries and strips of bright basil are the perfect topping for grilled pork chops for dinner out on the patio.
The farmers’ markets have the cherries front and center right now at the stands. Pick some up for snacking or recipe ideas.
We like to lightly coat a crusty loaf of bread with olive oil and toast on the grill.
When the bread is toasted, remove from the grill and cut into slices. Layer a piece of creamy Brie cheese and a mixture of chopped cherries tossed with basil, extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Kosher salt. Spoon the cherry mixture on top of the Brie and toasted bread.
You can certainly swap out the Brie for goat cheese. Drizzle a good-quality organic honey on the goat cheese before adding the cherries.
There are two ways to get the pits out of the cherries to start to work with them for any recipe. You can lean on them with some gentle pressure with the back of a kitchen knife or you can invest in one of these.
That is a cherry pitter and it is super easy to use. Simply place the cherry in the plastic tube and squeeze the handle which will spear through the cherry and push the pit out from the middle of the fruit.
It’s that simple. Repeat until all cherries are done. Sounds like the perfect job for the kids to help prepare a meal for the family.
Of course you will want to use some cherries for a dessert now that dinner is outside.
Pick up some frozen phyllo dough shells for dessert tonight. Place the pastry cups on a pan on the cool side of the grill with the lid closed. If you place them on a pan over a direct flame they will quickly burn.
Macerate some cherries and blueberries in white balsamic vinegar and granulated sugar. Drain and spoon in the toasted phyllo cups and tear some mint leaves to scatter on top.
Easy and delicious. Bring on summer!