Lots of Ways to Use Cherries


Cherries are best known as the starring ingredient in pies, cobblers and other luscious sweet treats. The folks who grow and sell the fruit would like you to know they’re good for more than just dessert. The Washington State Fruit Commission and California Cherry Advisory Board both offer an array of recipes on their Web sites illustrating how the fruit can be put to use in main dishes, salads, spicy sauces and salsas. Here is a sampling of recipes from those two sources.

Cherry Sweet and Sour Pork [top]

1 pound lean pork, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon each dry mustard and ground cloves
1/2 cup each diced green pepper and onion
1 tablespoon each sugar and cornstarch
1 cup pitted and halved fresh sweet cherries

1. Brown pork in oil. Add 1/4 cup water, vinegar, salt, mustard and cloves. Simmer covered, about 20 minutes or until meat is tender and cooked, then add green pepper and onion.

2. Combine 1/3 cup water, sugar and cornstarch; stir into pork mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and clear.

3. Gently stir in cherries; heat thoroughly. Serve over rice.

Source: Washington State Fruit Commission

Cherry Mustard Chicken [top]

1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 cups pitted sweet cherries
1/4 cup sliced green onion

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, then lightly toss in flour; shake off excess.

2. Heat half the butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat; add half the chicken. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until chicken is golden and cooked through. Remove to platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining butter, oil and chicken.

3. Stir wine, chicken broth and mustard into skillet, scraping up browned bits.

4. In small bowl, mix cornstarch, vinegar and water; stir into skillet. Add cherries and boil mixture, stirring until sauce thickens; 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in green onion. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Source: Washington State Fruit Commission

Duck with Cherries [top]

4 pound duck, cleaned, and giblets
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small onion
1 garlic clove, rushed
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 wineglass red wine
Freshly ground black pepper
½ pound Bing cherries

1. Season the duck, by rubbing the skin and the inside of the carcass with salt. Put to one side, in a large casserole dish.

2. Arrange the carrots, onion and giblets around the duck. Sprinkle the garlic, marjoram and basil over it. Pour in the wine and about 1 cup water, and add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

3. Cover the casserole and bake in a preheated 350º oven for 2 hours or until the duck is tender. Remove the casserole from the oven. Uncover and pour off the liquid and vegetables into a large saucepan. Put the duck onto a plate and set aside to cool. Boil the contents of the saucepan over a high flame until reduced by half. Strain off the liquid into a small bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Discard the vegetables.

4. Meanwhile, stem and pit the cherries and put into a bowl. Take the chilled liquid out of the refrigerator. The fat content should form a layer on the surface. Remove this. Reheat the remaining liquid until not quite boiling. Pour over the cherries and chill in the refrigerator until the sauce has turned to jelly. Remove from the refrigerator, unmold from the bowl and slice. Serve the duck cold, surrounded by slices of the jellied sauce in which the cherries are embedded.

Source: California Cherry Advisory Board

Southwestern Style Cherry Slaw [top]

4 cups shredded green cabbage
3 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
2 cups torn fresh spinach leaves
1 cup shredded jicama (optional)
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 avocado, peeled and diced
Toasted pine nuts for garnish

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons frozen lime juice concentrate, thawed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon each chili powder, ground cumin and salt

1. In large serving bowl, combine ingredients for Slaw. In small saucepan, combine Dressing ingredients; heat to boil.

2. Pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Garnish with pine nuts and serve.

Source: Washington State Fruit Commission

Mixed Cherry Vegetable Salad [top]

2 cups fine julienne carrots
1-1/2 cups pitted and halved fresh sweet cherries
1/2 cup fine julienne celery
1/2 cup diagonally sliced Chinese pea pods
1/4 cup very thinly sliced and quartered sweet onion
3 to 4 tablespoons very thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lime peel
1/8 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce

1. For dressing, combine all ingredients and mix well.

2. Toss carrots, cherries, pea pods, celery, onion and mint with dressing.

Source: Washington State Fruit Commission

Savory Cherry Sauce I [top]

3 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. In large saucepan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil over medium-high hear. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring frequently.

2. Serve over grilled salmon.

Source: Washington State Fruit Commission

Savory Cherry Sauce II [top]

1 cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted
4 tablespoons water, divided
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
salt to taste
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Combine cherries, 3 tablespoons water and all remaining ingredients except cornstarch. Cover and simmer gently 10 minutes.

2. Combine cornstarch and remaining water; stir into cherry mixture. Cook and stir until mixture thickens; simmer 1 minute.

3. Serve with fish or poultry.

Source: Washington State Fruit Commission

Fresh Cherry Salsa [top]

1 cup pitted fresh sweet cherries
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped green peppers
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash bottled hot pepper sauce

1. Chop cherries in food processor or manually. Combine all ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Source: Washington State Fruit Commission