Thursday, July 26, 2012

Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese and Pistachios




I couldn’t help but buy a box of the pretty Rainier cherries from Washington State when I saw them in our market the other day. I knew I had to have that box of cherries, even though I had no particular recipe in mind at the time.

Normally when it comes to cherries, I like to make a clafoutis, a baked French dessert of cherries covered with a thick flan-like batter and served warm, dusted with a generous shake of powdered sugar. But it’s summertime and I’m really not interested in heating the oven to make a baked dessert. Also there’s something about a clafoutis that I associate with fall evenings and it’s only July.

As often the case, Cooking Light came to my rescue. As I flipped through a great article featuring twelve different cherry recipes, I chose the salad with cherries, goat cheese and pistachios.

I did learn something about advance prep and cherries. Thinking I was the smart one, I pitted the cherries about 45 minutes before I began to assemble the salad, which, by the way, only takes about 15 minutes total start to finish. Cherries are quite easy to pit if you have a cherry pitter. When I came into the kitchen to finish the recipe, much to my surprise the edges of the pitted cherries had darkened and frankly weren’t nearly as pretty as they were freshly pitted 45 minutes earlier. So a word to the wise – if you want pretty cherries, do not pit light colored cherries such as Rainier until the last minute.

Don’t let cherry season pass you by. This is a very easy recipe and looks quite impressive on the plate. To complete the meal, we served this alongside a grilled NY strip steak.



Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese and Pistachios
Adapted slightly from Cooking Light

4 cups arugula
2 cups mix baby greens spinach
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion on the vertical
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup pitted and halved fresh cherries*
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup dry roasted pistachios

Combine the arugula, mixed salad greens and sliced onion in a large bowl and set aside.

To make the dressing combine the lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt and pepper, garlic and olive oil, in a jar with a screw top lid, and shake well until ingredients are incorporated. Drizzle dressing over the greens and toss gently to coat. Check for seasonings. Top each serving with some of the cherries, goat cheese and nuts. Serves 4.

*Cook’s note: Do not pit the light colored cherries such as Rainier until the last minute. Otherwise, their edges will turn a brown. This I know from experience.




This recipe will be linked to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodie Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at The Tablescaper and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.


The black-eyed Susans are still going strong. They look so pretty against the split rail fence, but they don't hold up very well as cut flowers.

51 comments:

  1. Tasty, fresh and healthy! This salad is wonderful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Lovely salad! Our cherry season is over but we certainly imbibed (read, stuffed) ourselves while they were in the market. Your salad looks refreshing and delicious.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  3. Looks gorgeous! I've never tried cherries in a salad but now I wonder why I never did? I love fruit, nuts and cheese in a salad. Will try.

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  4. I love fruit in salads it always gives such a lovely flavour. Sadly due to the terrible winter we had and the late frost the cherry trees around here, including our own were cherry-less! Keep well Diane

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  5. That salad looks great. I love cherries and this salad looks so good and the cherry clafouti you mentioned also sounds like a great idea. I have a bag of cherries in the fridge right now but I don't have a cherry pitter. Great excuse for me to shop at either Sur la Table or Williams Sonoma today!

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  6. Your salad looks fresh and flavorful! I love summer and the wonderful fruits that find their way to the salad plate. Delicious.

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  7. I would have never known about the cherries turning brown..Great tip..This salad sounds and looks wonderful!I love sweet salads~

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  8. What a beautiful salad, Sam. It has color, taste and texture. It's hard to go wrong with that combination :). I hope all is well. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  9. Oh gosh, that looks good. I have everything on hand but the goat cheese and I'm going to run out to the store right now to get some. I brought a big bag of Rainiers home from the market with me on Saturday and have been looking for a new way to serve them. Thanks, Sam. You have solved my problem.

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  10. Sam, I am glad you have decided to go for the healthy salad. It looks very beautiful and appetizing!

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  11. Hi Sam,
    What a peaceful summer photo of your Black Eyed Susans and the Pink Rose against the Rail Fence. I agree that we have to admire them on the plant, they don't hold up well at all when cut.

    I just picked up some Rainier Cherries at our local Farmers Market and now I have a perfect recipe to try them with. Your Salad with Cherries Goat Cheese and Pistachio's is just beautiful and full of flavor. I look forward to my first bite!

    Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  12. Hello Sam

    This recipe is perfect for the hot summer days we are enjoying. The Rainier cherries are divine and I wonder why they are at a premium price.

    Hope your weekend is delightful
    Helen xx

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  13. Ooh, this is my kind of summer salad. I'll have to try this to expand the fruit assortment that I've been adding into salads! The vinaigrette sounds delightful too Sam! Great photo!

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  14. PS: I have very little color left in my flower gardens right now and have just got to add Black Eyed Susans next spring! They're such happy flowers!

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  15. I bought a cherry pitter this year and haven't bought any cherries. Except for bing, which I ate right out of the sack. This salad looks beautiful and what a fabulous combination. Cherries and goat cheese. Yum.

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  16. What a gorgeous photograph! The salad sounds wonderful. When I first saw the picture I thought they were peaches instead of cherries. Such a beautiful color to them.

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  17. Love your salad with Rainier cherries. They are my favorites. The vinaigrette is perfect.

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  18. I would never have thought to put this combo together for a salad... terrific!...

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  19. A geogous, stunning & colourful salad which I love totally! :)
    Yummmmmmm! Great with a lovely crisp white wine & some good company too! ;)

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  20. Love this kind of salad. A fantastic combination with the cheese and the cherries. Looks delicious.

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  21. This salad sounds perfect for summer. Thanks for the tip about not pitting the cherries ahead of time.

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  22. Sounds great. Maybe I can get my brother and sister-in-law to invite us over to try it.

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  23. We are constantly on the same wave length crab cakes now these cherries. I just bought these for the first time and now I am excited to use them in your salad.

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  24. But...but...where's my strip steak? lol

    I didn't know that about cherries but it makes sense, given enzymatic browning.

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  25. Great salad love those cherries such a treat

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  26. Mmm! I never thought of using cherries in a salad before. That's genius. Mix it up with some stinky cheese and we're talking my kind of salad :) Well done!

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  27. What a beautiful salad, we love fruit in our salads, we love those cherries!

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  28. I just made a salad with Rainier cherries... it was wonderful. Yours looks so delicious!

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  29. Lovely, refreshing salad, Sam. I love Rainier cherries too...was debating some the other day. (At least the dark cherries don't show the brown! :) )

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  30. I love this salad! So colorful and delicious!

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  31. Sam, what a lovely salad...I love everything that is in it...very refreshing and summery. Perfect!
    Have a wonderful week ahead :)

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  32. As promised Sam, I made this wonderful salad today with a little adaptation from a salad over on Larry's (Big Dude) blog. It was simply delicious and I hope that you will enjoy reading about it today. Thanks for your continued inspiration!

    Roz

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  33. oh la la! I love the pistachios in that salad. Never thought to do that. I bet the cherries give it such a sweet and amazing flavor against the goat cheese and nuts

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  34. Your salad looks simple divine, can't wait to make one for me..looks like a great salad for a warm summer day..just need the Ice Tea...the black eye Susan's are wonderful looking as well...Happy Monday..with Love Janice

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  35. This is my next salad! I love everything but the goat cheese... I'll find another cheese. OH YUMMY! Thanks for bringing it to ON THE MENU MONDAY! As always, your images make everything you make luscious!

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  36. What a wonderful combination! I'll make it with goat cheese for me and gorgonzola for my husband (who dislikes goat cheese as much as I love it.)

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  37. This is a visually arresting salad. I love the combination of fruit, nuts and honey mustard dressing.

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  38. I love the idea of cherries in a salad - I don't know if I've ever had one before!

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  39. Your salad looks so fresh. :)
    I don’t mind eat this every day. LOL.
    Thank you for sharing. :)
    You can submit your salad with cherries goat cheese and pistachios pics on my Food Photography site.
    It is a food (and drink of course) photography site where members can submit all food (and drink of course (again) LOL ) pictures that make readers hungry.
    Well, you know it’s fun to make others hungry (and thirsty)! :D

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  40. What a beautiful salad Sam. This salad would make me happy. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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  41. Cherries, goat cheese, pistachios - that's some on my favourite things. This looks like a wonderful salad, Sam - I could actually just make a meal of this on its own.

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  42. Those Rainier cherries are so good. I like the idea to add the cherries with goat cheese. That must be such a nice combination of flavors.

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  43. Sam, it is always a pleasure when I visit here. I come away with ideas what to make. This salad is perfect for hubby and me. Cherries make it a treat rather than just a salad.

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  44. Sam, thanks for this salad. I go crazy for cherries every summer, no matter how wildly expensive, and I've been making loads of desserts with them but you remind me how wonderful they are in a savory dish. And fabulous with goat cheese. I love what you did here and have inspired me!

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  45. Sam, I made this salad and it was fantastic! Cherries, pistachios, and goat cheese are three things that rank as Turkey's most audaciously beautiful and prodigious ag products. Now they are at their peak. Thank you!

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  46. Your salad looks simply delicious! I'd love it if you would come on over to Summer Salad Sundays and share this recipe. Here's the link:
    http://easynaturalfood.com/2012/08/04/summer-salad-sundays-852012/

    Hope to see you there!
    Debbie

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  47. This looks like a fabulous salad. I'm going to pin it to my recipe board.

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  48. Here's my version! http://empty-nest-expat.blogspot.com/2012/08/sams-salad-with-cherries-goat-cheese.html

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    Replies
    1. Karen, I'm so delighted you like the salad and thanks ever so much for sharing it on your blog. A friend told me she has tried the salad using blue cheese in lieu of the goat cheese and loved it. I can't wait to try the blue cheese version.
      Sam

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Sam