Every June I get excited, as Cherries begin to show themselves in every fresh food market across Alberta. These little treats only pop up during the months of June and July. We are fortunate to be located next to British Columbia, which produces 60% of all the Cherries across Canada. If you feel the Cherry craving during the off-season, I encourage you to look into Sun-Dried Cherries, Cherry Liquor – Kirsch or Cherry Juice.
The Cherry Tree has been gaining popularity as more and more chefs are using the entire tree. The wood is now being used to flavor meats and several other proteins. The general rule of thumb when buying Cherries is to look for Cherries that have the stems connected and look healthy. That means no cuts or bruises. The Cherry with a stem has a longer shelf life than a Cherry that is without.
The recipe I am going to provide this month is a spring Salad with fresh Cherries. In most Salads Cherries are usually used dried. However with Cherries as fresh as they are here in Canada in these summer months, they can be added to this Salad pitted and halved.
Panzanella Salad with Organic Arugula, Toasted Walnuts, Yellow Beets, Alberta Cherries, Springbank Goat Cheese & Sherry Vinaigrette
Serves 8 people
2 Each Day Old Baguette’s
8 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 oz. Sherry Vinegar
1 pound Cleaned Arugula
4 oz. Toasted Walnuts – Chopped
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
6 oz. Fresh Cherries – Halved and Pitted
8 oz. Yellow Beets – slow roasted, peeled & cut into fourths
6 oz. Goat Cheese
1 oz. Shallot – minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Large Dice Baguette’s and toss with 4 oz. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper. Bake in Preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden Brown.
- In a small mixing bowl add – Small Dice Shallot, Dijon, Sherry Vinegar and slowly whisk in the rest of your Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- In a separate mixing bowl add your Toasted Baguette cubes, Cherries, Arugula, Chopped Toasted Walnuts and lightly drizzle with your Sherry Vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper. Add only a little at a time and mix well. Do not add too much of the Vinaigrette the Arugula!
- Place your dressed Salad mixture around your plate. Crumble Goat Cheese, over the top. Place Beets in the Arugula/Walnut mixing bowl and lightly dress with more Sherry Vinaigrette. Place around the side of your Salad plate.
The salad recipe given here is all about Spring. Please use the freshest of ingredients and Enjoy!