This year all the berries and cherries are coming to the market ahead of their usual schedule. From strawberries in May, cherries at the beginning of June and blueberries this past week, it seems like everything is loving the early summer weather. I’ve got to say, I’m loving it to. I’m definitely a sun seeker and am usually more than ready for summer when it arrives. I get pretty excited about all the new produce in the market and find that the change of season brings new inspiration into my cooking. Kind of an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality when it comes to recipes. This recipe came about last week while I was trying to figure out a way to use up what was left of the cherries I had, as usual, over bought. I wanted something light and refreshing and remembered a time I had a roasted grape salad at a restaurant in town that, sadly, closed down a year or so ago. I was curious to see what would happen if I applied a similar idea to cherries. I expected them to taste a little bit sweeter, if anything, which didn’t really happen. They just developed a deeper flavour and tasted a little like red wine. Obviously, I didn’t need much more convincing to carry on with this recipe for roasted cherry salad with maple vinaigrette. I’m just surprised were enough cherries to make the salad after all the sampling I did. I hope you enjoy it!
1 Cup cherries
3 Cups mixed greens
1/4 Cup fresh sage, chopped
2 tbsp chives, sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Cut the cherries in half and remove the pit. Then place the cherries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them in the oven and roast them for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the cherries are cooling, add the greens, sage, chives and almonds to a large salad bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup and salt. Set aside.
Add the cooled cherries to the greens mixture and toss with the maple dressing right before serving.