Roasted Cherry Vinaigrette
I love a lot of things about summer, but when it comes to food that is really only available this time of year, cherries top my list. For some reason though, most markets and stores sell them in bags way larger than I can handle. Even with my love for cherries, I have a hard time getting through a bag before they go bad.
A standard scene in my kitchen is for me to start the week with a huge amount of cherries and eat about half of them in oatmeal or just as a snack. By the end of the week though, I’m running out of things to do with them.
This vinaigrette is a saving grace. You can and should use fresh cherries but, if I’m being honest, you don’t have to use the freshest cherries. After all, we are just roasting them and pureeing them so don’t feel bad if a few of them are sub-optimal, if you know what I mean.
Okay, back to vinaigrette. You don’t need that many ingredients to make this great roasted cherry vinaigrette. It’s fresh and bright and is a great topper to any summer salad.
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash cherries and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for easier clean up). Drizzle the cherries with a tiny bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
2) Roast cherries for 15-20 minutes until they are slightly charred and bursting. Remove and let the cherries cool and then pop out the seeds. You should be able to just push them out with your fingers.
3) Add pitted cherries to a food processor with vinegar, a pinch of sugar and mustard, and salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine. Then drizzle in olive oil and pulse until smooth.
Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Store in the fridge for 2 weeks!
I find it easier to roast the cherries before pitting them. You can leave the stems on even. Just clean them and toss them with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
If you line your baking sheet with some parchment paper, it’ll make for easier clean up.
Roast these guys for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. They should start to burst open a bit and maybe even char on the edges. It’s all good.
Once the cherries are roasted you can let them cool a bit and then just pop out the pits. Remove any stems that are on the cherries and add the pitted cherries to a small food processor.
Now the vinaigrette is pretty straightforward. Add some red wine vinegar along with a pinch of sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Drizzle in some olive oil and pulse this until it’s smooth.
I just love the color on this.
Most importantly, after your dressing is ready, give it a taste. You might want to add an extra pinch of spice or sugar. Maybe a dash of hot sauce? You can kind of make it your own, but be sure not to overpower the cherry flavor. That should be the star!
Cherries are all over the place these days and the next time you find yourself with a spare cup, try this out!