Fresh, bright red cherries won’t last long. The season runs from late spring into summer, so when it’s here, take advantage of it! As sweet as they are nutritious, cherries are the perfect addition to summer recipes that will keep you feeling healthy and satisfied.
This versatile fruit can be made into a sauce for grilled chicken and pork at your next backyard gathering or sprinkled on top of desserts. It’s fun to get creative with cherries, but the easiest, guilt-free way to enjoy them are in salads.
Kale is used as the base of this salad because it’s one of the few fresh greens that can be dressed well in advance without getting soggy—perfect for outdoor parties and picnics. The pink peppercorn dressing plays well with the sweet cherries and brings a unique and fun addition to this salad. Pink peppercorns are actually dried berries from the Peruvian pepper tree. They have a bright pink color and a soft, sweet flavor—a perfect match for cherries and summertime gatherings!
- 2 bunches kale
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
- 3 oz goat cheese
- Optional Parmesan
- 1 Tbsp pink peppercorn, lightly crushed
- 1 Tbsp minced shallot
- 1/2 Meyer or regular lemon, juiced
- 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- To make the dressing, mix together crushed pink peppercorns, minced shallot, lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and kosher salt. Slowly whisk in extra virgin olive oil until well combined. Set aside.
- Prepare the kale leaves by rinsing them in cold water and removing the stems. Chop or tear the leaves into smaller pieces.
- In a large salad bowl, add the chopped kale, cherries, toasted walnuts, and goat cheese. Pour the salad dressing over the top and toss together well. If desired, shave parmesan over the top. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one day.
Andrea LeTard is a personal chef, cooking instructor, and creator of Andrea’s Cooktales, a recipe website and video series where there’s a story behind every recipe. Her recipes are what she calls “next-generation southern” – fun and fundamentally southern with a modern twist using fine, fresh, and unexpected ingredients. She is a regular contributor on Local Memphis Live, her recipes have been featured on The Today Show, and she was chosen as a Top 100 contestant on MasterChef Season 6. Follow Andrea on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or read her blog and watch her video series at http://www.andreascooktales.com.