We have been in the midst of a summer heatwave and I have zero desire to turn on the stove or oven at the moment. As a result, I find myself reaching for recipes that require no heat and are quick and easy to pull together. Salads top the list, you can pair some lettuce or greens with a delicious vinaigrette, add a few different toppings and you are good to go. It’s also a wonderful way to make use of the abundance of fresh greens available this time of year. My trip to the Halifax Brewery and Seaport Markets this weekend provided lots of seasonal inspiration for this delicious salad.
The main focus of this salad comes in the form of cherries, which were in abundance at the market this week. I make a point of chatting with the vendors I purchase my fruit and veggies from and was thrilled to find some spray-free cherries on offer, as they are number eight on the dirty dozen list this year.
I get really excited when cherry season arrives, not only are they delicious, but they are also anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants. According to NutritionFacts.org, these anti-inflammatory properties are especially helpful when it comes to combatting gout. This article by Healthline indicates that cherries are also beneficial when it comes to supporting heart health, assisting in muscle recovery following exercise and getting a good night’s sleep.
We love eating fresh cherries when they are in season, but they are also delicious dried. They make a wonderful addition to oatmeal and granola during the winter when fresh berries are not in season or as readily available.
Cherry Chopped Salad
6 ups mixed lettuce (I used red leaf, arugula & radicchio from Waldegrave and Four Seasons Farm)
Fresh sprouts (I used a Four Seasons Farm mix of radish, sunflower, buckwheat and pea shoots)
1 cup pitted and diced cherries
1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 tbsp hemp seeds
Handful nasturtiums (optional, also from Four Seasons Farm)
Cherry balsamic vinaigrette (see below)
Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces, then wash and dry completely. Toss lettuce with cherry balsamic vinaigrette and distribute into large bowls. top with sprouts, nuts, hemp seeds, hemp seeds and nasturtiums and serve.
Cherry balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup pitted cherries
2 tbsp balsamic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp mustard (I used old fashioned grainy by Maison Orphée)
1 tsp maple syrup
Salt & pepper
Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
What is your favourite way to use cherries? My Dad is a huge fan of cherry pie, so I am planning to freeze some cherries for his next visit.