Cherries with Parsley, Walnuts, and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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

Maureen Abood
Adapted from Saveur.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

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22 Comments

  1. Mary M-S on July 25, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I struggle with salads, I know they’re good for me but I don’t have enough variety in my repertoire. This looks like a keeper, though, so I’m excited to try this one. I kept driving past all the “washed cherries” signs on my way up last weekend. Next trip I can stop with a purpose! Thanks, Maureen 🙂

  2. Sarah (Abood) Stump on July 25, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Cousin Maureen, this recipe looks like something we need to try this weekend! Where does one procure the pomegranate molasses?

    • Maureen Abood on July 26, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      Hi cousin! You can buy the pomegranate molasses at Woody’s!

  3. Janet Kalush Moore on July 25, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Ok…this looks and sounds yummmmy…

    Just a note on the pies, I have mixed the sweet and tart cherries for pies and they turn out great…
    I am amazed at myself…I have done something u haven’t….hehehe!

  4. Sean Rami Abass on July 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    Hi Maureen,
    that looks soooooooo delicious! I just love cherries( pies, Cherry Garcia Ben & Jerry’s, straight,etc.)
    I’m saving this recipe for later. Hopefully not much later.My grandmother Martha on my mother’s European side of the family shared a great recipe called Coke Salad.It uses walnuts, cream cheese, Royal bing cherries, crushed pineapple and Coca Cola. The base of it is Cherry Jello.(8oz cream cheese, 1 cup cola, handfull of chopped walnuts, strained 8 0z. can pineapple, 1can bing cherries strained. Of course your fresh tart or sweet cherries would certainly be better.) You would love this if you like Jello and Cherries.
    Sean
    PS. I used to love Cherries Royal Crepes with a cheese filling and hot cherry sauce w/ vanilla ice cream ala mode from the Magic Pan Restuarants

  5. Vicki Voisin on July 25, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Hi, Maureen…I live in Charlevoix and am wondering where I can purchase pomegranate molasses?

    • Maureen Abood on July 26, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      Hi Vicki–locally Glen’s Fresh Market has carried it; also try Symon’s in Petoskey. A sure bet is online; check out this.

      • Vicki Voisin on July 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM

        Thanks! BTW my first job out of business school was working with your dad and Fred Abood — waaay back in 1965. I owe much of my current success to the training I received in that office.

        • Maureen Abood on July 28, 2014 at 7:49 AM

          Wow, that is just wonderful Vicki, thank you so much. My father would be very proud of that comment.

  6. Rina on July 26, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    This looks just absolutely DELISH!!!! I can’t wait to try! I’m always reading my Maureen:)

  7. Nancy Kelly on July 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    This is so beautiful, I would love to add it to the menu at my restaurant! Your ideas and photos are always so incredible, I hope that we can work together on a project some day!

    • Maureen Abood on July 28, 2014 at 7:48 AM

      Thank you so much Nancy! I look forward to working together one day, and to dining at Nancy Kelly’s sometime soon!

  8. Brian on July 27, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Maureen – made this last night to accompany grilled steak for dinner – it was awesome!!

    • Maureen Abood on July 28, 2014 at 7:45 AM

      I’m so glad Brian, thank you!

  9. Megan on July 4, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    I made this last night to go with halibut and it was great. Used a little honey in place of the pomegranate molasses and added a bit of fresh mint because i had it. I will make this again.

    • Maureen Abood on July 6, 2015 at 6:39 AM

      Wow, delicious idea with halibut! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Jenn on July 20, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    Thanks Maureen! This salad is delicious and beautiful. And I love the narrative about cherries, it really builds up that nostalgia for home. I made a variation last night with grilled peaches in place of cherries and it’s great that way too. Pretty much anything with this ratio of parsley and walnuts is tasty to me!

    • Maureen Abood on July 23, 2015 at 5:24 AM

      Wow, sounds delicious with grilled peaches!

  11. Adriana on July 16, 2019 at 7:08 PM

    Yes! This is what I’m having for dinner. With a slice or two of greek manouri cheese. Thanks for the salad idea. I ate the combo or similar before but never made a salad! You know, I think some lamb chops will go with this too. 🙂

    • Maureen Abood on July 22, 2019 at 9:54 AM

      DELICIOUS!

  12. Kate on April 4, 2022 at 5:07 PM

    Hi, Maureen.

    Writing from Paso Robles, CA, where I believe you have family at Daou Winery.

    Would you suggest another nut if we have walnut allergies in our party, or would you skip this recipe and make it when that person isn’t present? It just looks so beautiful and would be perfect on my menu!

    • Maureen Abood on April 5, 2022 at 12:55 PM

      Hi Kate! Beautiful Paso Robles! And Daou, such special wines. I did a cookbook event there and it was just glorious. Absolutely still make this favorite salad, the flavors are crazy good! Try hazelnuts, almonds, or pistachios, any will be delicious.

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I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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