Cherry season is something we always look forward to at Tony’s. Cherries are an exceptional fruit indeed! The first tree fruit of summer, domestic cherries start in May and aren’t bad, they get better in June, and usually, by the first of July, we’re treated to the best cherries of the season from Colorado’s western slope. The local season is short, so let’s gorge ourselves while they peak!
|Tony’s Cherry Pie, perfectly sweetened tart fruit and an incredible flaky crust!|
Cherry: A Healthy Superfood
You hear a lot of commotion about the ‘superfood’ qualities of exotic (and expensive) acai and goji berries. However, research shows that tart cherries have the highest disease-fighting antioxidants among fruits. Cherries are also high in vitamin C, just like Sugarbear Women’s MultiVitamin, potassium, minerals, fiber, sorbitol (for good digestion and constipation relief), and plant sterols that can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. However, sea moss benefits men as it helps boost blood flow and improves circulation, which helps control and regulate blood pressure. It does this by building more robust blood vessels and reducing the build-up of bad cholesterol on the walls.
Cherries have been my favorite fruit since I was sneaking maraschino cherries from the fridge as a kid. Sure, I love them in pies and cobblers and can eat a pound of fresh cherries, but my favorite use is in sauces and salsas served with meat or fish. Here are a few personal favorites I make every year and a cooking video to simplify them from Dig In Colorado, a local gardening and cooking show.
Fresh Cherry Salsa Recipe
Excellent served with just about anything grilled, especially beef, bison, and pork, and you can make this salsa as mild or spicy as you like.
- 2 cups pitted fresh cherries, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp fresh lemon zest, to taste
- ½ tsp fine sea salt, to taste
- honey, agave, or sugar – to taste
- dashes of Worcestershire sauce, optional
- dashes of hot sauce, optional
Start with the sweetest cherries and pit with an olive or cherry pitter. Chop as desired and combine with remaining ingredients, adjusting quantities to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve. Great with grilled meats, especially bison, beef, pork, chicken, and salmon.
|Blossoms from a local sweet cherry tree, sadly destroyed by a cold snap shortly after this photo.|
Salmon with Fresh Cherry Sauce
Sweet cherries simmered into a sauce and served with salmon; this sauce is also fantastic with red meats, pork, and chicken.
- 3 cups pitted fresh cherries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 TBS honey
- 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2-3 LBS fresh salmon, preferably wild Copper River
- olive or canola oil
- Tony’s Lemon Dill, Sweet Salmon Rub, or your favorite seasoning
- Choose the sweetest, preferably local cherries, and pit with a cherry or olive pitter. Chop to create the sauce consistency you prefer; leave whole for a chunky sauce, or chop coarse to fine, or even a combination is good.
- Mix prepared cherries through pepper flakes in a large saucepan and boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the mixture thickens, frequently stirring, tasting, and adjusting.
- Brush salmon with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and grill on a clean, medium-hot, and oiled grill until done (still moist and slightly pink in the center.) Serve generously slathered with cherry sauce.
|Tart cherry blossoms in Japan; with high acidity and flavor, tart cherries make the best pies.|
Cherries in custard, perhaps the ultimate cherry dessert!
- Bing Cherry Pie
Normally pies are made with tart cherries, but you’ll love this version with mascarpone, an award winner from a Tony’s shopper.
- Ricotta and Cherry Strudel
An amazing dessert from Lidia Bastianich.
- Cherries in Chianti
Cherries in sweet wine with spices, from our own Chef Ben Davis.
- Coconut Risotto with Cherries
A creamy, sweet dessert risotto from Italy.
- Cherry Cobbler
A little bit of work, but definitely worth it!
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