Roasted Cherries with Salmon

I have a love-hate relationship with cherries. I love to eat them and I hate to pick and pit them. Back on the farm in Iowa, we had a sour cherry tree that represented countless hours of pure drudgery to a child. I endured the pain for the taste of my mother’s perfectly latticed tart cherry pie.

After moving to Los Angeles I started craving freshly harvested sour cherries – despite the memories of pitting them. Luckily I discovered Bing cherries. These dark lusciousness gems are sweeter, easier to pick (at the grocery store) and as delicious as cherries from our farm. Unlike the sour cherries, you can pop these sweet treats in your mouth, or cook them in a sweet or savory dish.

Not only did I discover a magnificent variety of a favorite fruit, I also found the OXO Cherry Pitter.

OXO cherry pitter

This ingenious device (given to me as part of a package at Camp Blogaway – a food blogging event) makes pitting cherries a breeze. With just a squeeze of the handle the pit pops right out. It works so well, I might even take it with me on my next trip back to Iowa.

If you want to know what to do with your cherry pits, click here for an interesting twist from the Tasting Table.

Today’s Recipe:

Bing cherries are sweet, yet when you roast them, their tangy essence emerges. This concentrated flavor makes the fruit a spectacular addition to this savory dish.

TIP: I brine my salmon to reduce the unattractive white layer of film (albumin) that forms on the surface during cooking when using high heat. Just 10 minutes in a salty brine (1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water) is enough to minimize the effect.

Roasted Cherries with Salmon 

Roasted Cherries with Salmon
  • • ½ pound (about 1¼ cups) cherries, pitted and halved
  • • 2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • • 2 teaspoons honey
  • • 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  • • 6 ounces salmon fillet, cut in half
  • • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • • ½ pound spinach, thoroughly washed
  • • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Arrange one rack about 8 inches from the heating element and another around 4 inches away. Preheat broiler. (My broiler is 550 degrees)
  2. In a large bowl, toss together cherries, 1 tablespoon lime juice, honey and sage.
  3. Arrange salmon skin-side down on a large foil-lined baking sheet. Scatter cherry mixture around salmon and broil until salmon is just cooked through and cherries are juicy and caramelized, 5 to 6 minutes. Move pan to upper rack in oven for one more minute to brown salmon. Remove from oven.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil and garlic. Sauté garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Add spinach to the pan and turn leaves in warm oil until they wilt. Season the wilted spinach with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer half the spinach to each plate and top with salmon.
  6. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of lime juice over cherries and place on salmon and spinach. Serve while hot.
Serves 2

 Fun Facts about Cherries

  • Cherry pie filling is the number one pie filling sold in the U.S.
  • Considered an exalted plant, Japan gave the United States 3,020 cherry blossom trees, in 1912, as a gift of their growing friendship. These trees were planted in Manhattan in Sakura Park.

Quote of the Day:

“He who likes cherries soon learns to climb” – German Proverb

“She” who loves cherries learns when they are in season and buys them at the market.
…and then, she paused 4 thought.


About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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29 Responses to Roasted Cherries with Salmon

  1. Nan August 16, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    I love the tip about brining the salmon. Thanks.

    • cathyarkle August 16, 2013 at 11:35 am #

      Thanks Nan, If you cook salmon at a low temp the white stuff isn’t usually a problem, but when you roast salmon the brining is a big help.

  2. Susan Herrmann August 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Cathy this is a beautiful dish. I haven’t tasted it, but all ingredients seem to perfectly complement each other. Yum. Cannot wait to try it.


    • cathyarkle August 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      Thanks Susan, I will make it for you next time you are in LA.

  3. Linda Valen August 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I love colorful meals that are also delicious! The creative combinations you continue to come up with STILL amaze me! I look forward to your fun blogs and great recipes, and I always learn many things every time — like, who would EVER guess that cherry pits could be useful!!! The device that removes the pits from the cherry is no longer one of your “pitfalls” in making cherries a part of your life!

    • cathyarkle August 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      LOL Linda! Thank you for your kind words.

    • kimetzel84 August 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      I agree, Linda! The colors in this dish are gorgeous! And I am actually thinking about trying it now that I know that magic of the cherry corer. Thanks for sharing!

      • Cathy August 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

        Thanks for stopping by Kim. The cherry pitter is a wonderful invention.

  4. Christina @ChristinasCucina August 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Wow! Nothing short of spectacular, as usual, Cathy! Would you believe I spent God knows how long pitting 2 lbs of sour cherries this morning?! How did I NOT get an OXO cherry pitter at camp? 🙁

    • cathyarkle August 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Christina WHERE did you get sour cherries? Please tell me it was in LA!!!! The OXO cherry pitter was from last years Camp Blogaway.

  5. Jennifer August 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I love cherries and I love salmon. Sounds like a delightful combo. Thanks for sharing.

    • cathyarkle August 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Thanks Jennifer, I was pleasantly surprised as was my husband over this combo. Enjoy!

  6. nusrat2010 August 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Loved the “Tip” 🙂
    Loved everything about this post 🙂
    Love you and will always be 🙂

    • Cathy August 20, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      Thanks Nusrat, for your kind words of encouragement.

  7. mysfkitchen August 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Oooh my tastebuds are tingling just thinking about this flavor combination!! Excellent!

  8. sippitysup August 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Oh my! Really. Oh my… GREG

  9. Lynne @ CookandBeMerry August 20, 2013 at 1:41 am #

    We have been eating cherries like mad in recent weeks. So delicious. We call that OXO tool our cherry “gun” and I love it. Good tip about brineing. Thanks.

    • Cathy August 20, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Thanks Lynne, I love the cherry gun so much. It has made buying cherries at the market more desirable for me. 🙂

  10. Jen @ Savory Simple August 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    This looks so wonderful. I totally get what you mean- cherries are one of my favorite fruits and yet I hate dealing with them. I made ice cream earlier and pitted 2 pounds of cherries at once. Blech. But the final results somehow make it all worth it.

  11. Kim September 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    I’ve never brined my salmon, but I’m going to!!! Excellent tip. I should do a side-by-side comparison to see/taste the difference. [K]

  12. sippitysup September 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I have the OXO pitter too. Come to think of it I got it at FoodBuzz too. I miss FoodBuzz (the way it once was). GREG

  13. Lentil Breakdown September 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I never heard of brining salmon. This looks beyond fabulous! You ought to be a food stylist for a living!

    • Cathy September 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

      Adair, I hadn’t heard about it until I googled it. I thought there had to be a way to get around that white stuff. Thanks for your encouraging words, I really appreciate it.

  14. Cheri Newell September 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Cherries and Salmon… would have never thought of that! Looks so yummy! WOW

    • Cathy September 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks Cheri, I think you will like this intriguing combo.


  1. Homemade Cherry Pie Filling (or Apple, Peach, Rhubarb…) - July 16, 2014

    […] (or Apple, Peach, Rhubarb…) 3 cups (1 1/2 lbs) pitted sour cherries (my friend, Cathy, used a nifty OXO Cherry Pitter) 1 cup (8 oz) sugar 1 tsp lemon juice 2 heaped teaspoons corn starch (water to mix) Place the […]

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