This unexpected pairing of cherries in a savory salad of Cherries with Parsley, Walnuts, and Pomegranate Vinaigrette is DIVINE! Use an excellent pomegranate molasses like this one from Maureen Abood Market.
I have been turning out lots (and lots) of pies lately. This, however, is not a post about pie, but anyway: A few of the pies we give away, but most…we eat. That means I’ve also been turning out lots (and lots) of miles running. You’ve gotta pay to play, and as Dan has told me, bridal boot camp doesn’t end when you get married: It’s just the beginning, girl! And I agree.
Most every pie this spring and summer has included at least a handful of tart cherries. The tarts, the sours, they are the darling of our region Up North, and just to make you jealous I will tell you that we can find them frozen all year up here at the IGA.
For the fresh ones, we await their soft, vibrant, sour little selves with truly baited breath, and when they get here, we go kind of bonkie. Because, well, read this and this, and you’ll understand the depth of our Michigan tart cherry-love.
All of the tart cherry worship has left our sweet cherries, the dark reds found at stands dotting the sides of the road from Gaylord north to the U.P., in a bit of an eclipse of the heart. Perhaps cherries aren’t unlike people; sometimes the sweet ones get less attention.
Sweet cherries are not good for pie, so around here we end up just eating them, handful after handful, spitting the pits ever-so-properly into a fist, or wildly out the car window. But the cook in me has been wanting to do something more (meaning “in addition” as opposed to “better”).
I did a double take, then, when I saw a recipe from Saveur, a Middle-Eastern style dish featuring sweet cherries, but savory. As a salad, with herbs and our beloved walnuts all dressed in a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette. The salad is so gorgeous, I just knew its beauty was a harbinger of delicious.
Now. This isn’t tart cherry galette with cream cheese crust (get after that too, I beg you). It is salad, and you know the Lebanese love salad. This one is going to be a new and regular addition to our summer repertoire, perfect with lamb, pork, beef, fish. Or, honestly, for dessert. Call it post-script, if not dessert.
Amazing how a little attention to the quietly sweet—here the cherries, but surely it applies all over the place in our lives—reveals how exciting, how very exotic and noticeable, they can be.
Cherries with Parsley, Walnuts, and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Adapted from Saveur.
- 1 quart sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch kosher salt
In a lovely small salad bowl, combine the cherries, walnuts, and parsley.
In a small bowl, whisk the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt until it emulsifies.
Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and serve immediately, or later, at room temperature.