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.
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.
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
- • 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
- Arrange one rack about 8 inches from the heating element and another around 4 inches away. Preheat broiler. (My broiler is 550 degrees)
- In a large bowl, toss together cherries, 1 tablespoon lime juice, honey and sage.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer half the spinach to each plate and top with salmon.
- Drizzle remaining tablespoon of lime juice over cherries and place on salmon and spinach. Serve while hot.
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.