Cherry Power. Whether it’s golden-pink or purple-red, cherries have been popular since the 1400′s –and considered a superfood. One cup of anti-oxidant-rich cherries has just 90 calories and is a good source of fiber and vitamin C. A natural source of melatonin, eating a handful of cherries just before bed is a great way to naturally regulate your sleep cycle. Adding cherries to your diet can also help relieve the pain of arthritis and gout. Cherry juice is just as helpful, health-wise. The Portuguese make a tasty –and potent- liqueur from them (Ginja d’ Óbidos) … and I just learned how to make a salsa with them.
Why didn’t I think of this before?
I spotted the recipe for salsa on Elise Bauer’s Simply Recipes, an award-winning blog where she shares family-tested recipes (she took the picture; click on it for her recipe). With just a few ingredients, Elise’s salsa allows the cherry flavor to come through and is yummy. I served this meal to friends visiting from Montana, and we all enjoyed it.
But cherry salsa! Just the idea of it makes my little foodie mind drool! And I’ve been riffing on Elise’s recipe ever since. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Chop all ingredients by hand (instead of using a food processor) – resulting in a chunky, more robust salsa
- Add a little heat, with jalapeño or Serrano pepper (to taste)
- The recipe calls for red onion, but I use shallots and green onion, too
- Yellow pepper and yellow cherry tomatoes add a savory twist
- Include mint, lemon verbena or a little oregano with the basil
- For pure decadence, add a small amount of crème fraiche, sour cream or mascarpone
Of course, if salsa is not your thing, there’s always Cherry Clafouti. I like mine with the brilliant combination of almonds and vanilla. But I digress. Now’s the time to enjoy cherries here in the Northwest, and however you like them, they’re good for you, too.
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