Our fair region in Northwest Michigan boasts the ideal climate for cherry growing. As a tribute to this sweet, bold, and nutritious fruit, we offer nine ways to incorporate cherries in your summer menu. Cherries are wonderful as dessert agents but they also lend themselves to savory dishes. Try one of these recipes to sweeten up your summer table.
(Click HERE for how to pit cherries if you don’t have a dedicated cherry pitting gadget.)
Almond Pancakes with Cherry Sauce
1 1/2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Clarified butter or ghee
- Mix together almond meal, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add the extracts and milk and beat well.
- Pour liquid into the dry ingredients and stir together.
- Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pour about ¼ cup batter in pan for each pancake. Turn pancakes when bubbles form and are golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 more minute. Serve hot with cherry sauce.
2 cups organic tart cherries, pitted
¼ cup natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
Place cherries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. While cherries are heating, whisk together the arrowroot powder and water in a small bowl until smooth. Stir into the cherries. Simmer, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
Cherry Arugula Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons
Fresh, local arugula and spinach, enough for 2 large servings
1 cup fresh, local cherries, pitted
1/4 cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted
1 3 oz. log goat cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs or almond meal fresh
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
sea salt and pepper to taste
finely chopped parsley
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the goat cheese into 1/4 inch rounds. (The colder the cheese the easier it will be to slice.) Mix bread crumbs with fresh cracked pepper in a small bowl. Dip goat cheese slices into beaten egg and dredge in bread crumbs. Lay on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly spray all the coated pieces. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While cheese is baking, whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Arrange arugula, spinach and cherries on 2 plates. Sprinkle with precans and drizzle with dressing. Lay warm cheese croutons over all and serve immediately.
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
½ cup dried cherries, finely chopped
½ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
4 whole-wheat buns
- Preheat grill to medium. Place beef in a bowl and mix in the cherries, breadcrumbs, garlic, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper until well combined. Divide into 4 equal portions and form into 1/2-inch-thick patties.
- Oil the grill rack. Grill the patties until browned and grill marked, about 5 minutes per side. Enjoy with your favorite toppings.
Southwestern Cherry Slaw
4 cups green cabbage, shredded
3 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
2 cups spinach leaves, torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup jicama or diakon radish, shredded
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small red onion, diced small
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey or cane sugar
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss all the vegetables together in a large bowl.
For the dressing: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over salad and toss gently to coat.
Cold German Cherry Soup
1 lb. sweet cherries, pitted
2 cups cherry juice
2/3 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons arrowroot
- Mix the juice, red wine, sugar, and vanilla in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the cherries and cook for 2 minutes.
- Whisk the arrowroot with a little cold water and pour slowly into the cherry mixture, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 cups local salad mix
1/2 cup dried local cherries
1⁄4 cup pumpkin seeds
1⁄4 cup thinly sliced local green onions
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh local parsley
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh local cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped local fresh mint
black pepper to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
Combine water, quinoa, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl. Combine cooled quinoa, lettuce, cherries, pumpkin seeds, onions, herbs and black pepper in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat.
No Bake Peach Cherry Crumble
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted, chopped
2 teaspoons coconut oil
4 cups peaches and/or nectarines, sliced
Handful of fresh cherries
Cinnamon to taste
- Mix the pecans, dates and coconut oil together with your hands in a bowl.
- Layer the slices of fresh stone fruit on individual serving plates.
- Top with the crumble of chopped pecans and dates.
- Garnish with fresh cherries and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bark
2 cups whole raw or salted, roasted cashews
10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried crystallized ginger, 1/4 inch dice
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1 cup dried apricots, 1/2 inch dice
Place 2/3 of the chocolate chips in a heavy bottom sauce pan over very low heat. Stir gently but steadily as the chocolate melts and heats up. Use a rubber spatula, not a wooden or metal spoon. When completely melted, remove from heat and add the remaining chocolate chips. Stir to melt the chocolate chips.
Using a pencil, draw a 12 x 15 inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper placed on a sheet pan. Turn it over and pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it lightly into the drawn rectangle. Sprinkle the top evenly with the ginger, cashews and dried fruit. Set aside for 1 to 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark into 24 pieces & serve at room temperature.
Butter for greasing baking dish
8 oz dark cherries, pitted
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
optional: sweetened whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-qt. baking, deep dish pie, or gratin dish with butter.
- Arrange cherries in bottom of dish.
- In a blender, blend eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until smooth. Pour batter over berries.
- Bake until puffed, golden brown, and set in the center, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.