In the Kitchen Bonus Feature: Classic Cherries
What a great way to incorporate some local, fresh summer produce! With the chicken, Blue Lake beans and sweet Bing cherries, this salad is hearty enough to be called dinner. Adapted from Everyday Food. Serves 4.
- 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. chicken breast cutlets (about 6)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 lb. fresh, local Blue Lake green beans, trimmed
- 5 ounces spring mix greens or spinach
- 1 small head radicchio, cored and shredded
- 12+ fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios or Sigona’s orange honey walnuts
- 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 TBL red-wine vinegar
- 1 TBL Sigona’s apricot jam
- 1 TBL Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
Directions: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high; season cutlets with salt and pepper. In two batches, if necessary, cook chicken until cooked through and juices run clear, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. When cool enough to handle, slice chicken crosswise.
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches salted water to a boil. Add green beans; cover and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Rinse under cold water until cool; drain well.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, jam, mustard and 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the greens and radicchio with all but 1 TBL vinaigrette. Divide salad among four plates; arrange chicken, green beans, cherries and nuts on top. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette; serve immediately.
These are two flavors you don’t see together often, but I love how the sweet-tart of the fruit is balanced a bit by the creaminess of the yogurt. It’s definitely refreshing! Serves 1-2.
- 1 cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted
- 3/4 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup plain, honey or vanilla yogurt
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- A pinch of cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- 2 cups ice
- About 1 TBL Honey Hole Honey Co. honey (optional)
Directions: After pitting the cherries, spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Place all ingredients, except the honey, in a blender and blend until smooth. If desird, add honey to taste.
Fresh Cherry & Balsamic Sauce (For Duck or Chicken)
Duck and cherries are a classic combination, one you’re likely to find gracing the menu at most Michelin-star-rated restaurants during cherry season. Now you can make it in the comfort of your very own home! Recipe courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos. Luisa, a longtime customer of Sigona’s, suggests serving this over a whole roasted duck or whole roast chicken.
- 2 TBL unsalted butter
- 8 small cipollini onions, blanched, peeled (they’ll be in season soon)
- 1 TBL fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup Sigona’s traditional balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Fresh juice of one small lemon
- 2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved
- Sugar, to taste
- Kosher/sea salt, to taste
Directions: In medium sauté pan, melt butter. Add onions, sprinkle with a little salt and sugar, and sauté until lightly caramelized. Add fresh thyme and cherries and sauté a few more minutes. Deglaze the pan with balsamic, stock and lemon juice, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any brown bits. Season with salt and pepper.
Reduce until thickened. Keep sauce warm until ready to serve.
Cherry, Honey-Mascarpone & Dark Chocolate Crostini
Chocolate and cherries. Cheese and toasted baguette. Two delightful combinations rolled into one mouthwatering appetizer. Serves 5.
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tsp. honey, such as Honey Hole Honey Co.
- 10 baguette slices, about 1/4 – 1/2-inch thick (I like to use a sweet baguette)
- 10 fresh Bing or Rainier cherries, halved and pitted
- A 1 – 2 oz. bar of dark chocolate, such as a Holy Chocolate’s Venezuela 65%, found at Sigona’s
- Cinnamon, for sprinkling, optional
Directions: Place the mascarpone cheese on the counter while preparing the dish, to help bring the cheese to room temperature. Place the chocolate bar in the fridge, to help with shaving later.
Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. You can put these in the oven to broil, but I recommend using a stovetop grill. Grill both sides just slightly on a medium-high heat, just about 1 min per side. This makes the bread crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside…perfect for your crostini.
Stir together the cheese and honey, then spread a bit on each toast. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon, if you’re so inclined. Top each with 2 cherry halves and chocolate shavings or a curl.
Shaving/curling chocolate: Use a vegetable peeler and scrape the peeler across the edge of the chocolate block.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Cherry Balsamic Reduction
Just typing out this recipe makes my mouth water. It’s a simple go-to recipe when we have fresh cherries in the store that is sure to impress. If it’s too hot and you don’t want to turn on the oven you can always grill the tenderloin on the BBQ. Serves 4.
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
- Salt and pepper
- 2-3 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 TBL unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1 TBL chopped fresh rosemary
- 3/4 lb. Bing cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/2 cup Sigona’s cherry balsamic
Directions: Rub pork with salt and pepper. Heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot add pork to pan and cook 3 minutes, rotating to brown all sides. Roast pork in the oven at 400F for about 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155F (it will still be slightly pink). Set aside and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
When pork is done and resting, begin the cherry & balsamic sauce.
Add butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. When melted, stir in the shallots and rosemary and cook for one minute. Add the cherries and balsamic and increase heat to high. Cook another minute or so to reduce the balsamic (it’ll get a little thicker).
Drizzle the cherry and balsamic mixture over the sliced pork (about 1-2 inch thick medallions) and serve immediately.