Cherry season is in full swing here in the northern hemisphere. Apart from the obvious – being good to eat, cherries are exceptionally nutritious. These juicy beauties are loaded with antioxidants; melatonin to help you sleep better (send a truckload to my place please); can help with high blood pressure (make that two truckloads) & they can ease inflammation in the joints. For me its their taste & that crisp texture that I love so much. Last week I was adding them to salads, making a relish a sauces &, I even baked a cherry pie (which I sent to work with my husband). This cherry, pecan & goat cheese salad is simple, pretty & when served with grilled pork chops makes a speedy, healthy meal.
Last week we dined on cherries & pork. Mixed in a few key essentials like garlic, balsamic vinegar & olive oil & added fresh veggies. By the time shopping day rolled around we’d eaten everything so we had no wasted food lurking in the fridge. We ate simple, healthy food that was kind to our budget & I even added a treat.
I’m certain this was my first time using cherries in a savory salad. Why did I wait so long – they were fantastic in a salad & paired so perfectly with goat cheese, pecans & balsamic vinegar. And serving the salad with pork chops was a given. I’ve said before, pork & fruit are friends.
The heat & humidity here have been ridiculous & I can’t wait to head home in several weeks where I’m hoping it’s going to be lovely & cold. To not be hot every moment of every day will be lovely. I think we need a day to celebrate the person who invented air conditioning because he is a bit of a super hero to me.
Here are some random cherry facts: Turkey & the United States are the leading producers of sweet cherries in the world. The cherry is a drupe & belongs to the rose family. A cup of pitted cherries contains only 7 7 calories. Cherries are high in Vitamin A & C & potassium & are loaded with fiber. Cherries & black pepper are friends. They have a fairly short growing season, one of the things that makes them so revered. Adding almond extract to cherries brings out their flavor – wait for my cherry pie at the end of the week.
Serve this salad as a side with some grilled or roasted pork. It’d also be brilliant with roast duck, pheasant or turkey. Or, as a light & healthful starter. Whatever floats your boat. I hope you try it. Let me know if you do. Until then, have a fabulous week all!
- 6 good handfuls of spring mix (baby lettuce leaves)
- 2 cups cherries, pitted
- 4 oz (113g) soft goat cheese, broken into pieces
- 1 cup toasted pecan halved, coarsely chopped
- MUSTARD BALSAMIC DRESSING
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- To make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a jar with a screw top lid; shake until well combined.
- Place leaves in a large serving bowl or four to six individual plates.
- Scatter cherries, goat cheese & pecans over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing. Serves 4 to 6.