Recipe Roundup: Red Cherry Balsamic
This rich and sweet infused balsamic makes a delicious finisher for a roasted pork loin when reduced with fresh Bing cherries. It’s also fantastic on salads with feta or blue cheese, or an orange & onion Sicilian salad.
Red Cherry Hot Fudge Sauce
This is an absolutely easy and luscious fudge sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over ice cream and can also be used as a frosting. The subtle tang from the balsamic enhances the cherry flavor, making this sauce even more delectable. Adapted from The Olive Oil & Vinegar Lover’s Cookbook. Makes about 2 cups.
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic
- 3 Tbsp to 1/4 cup granulated sugar (to taste)
- About 2/3 cup chopped fresh cherries, pitted
- 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
Directions: Whisk together the cream, balsamic, sugar and cherries in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, set over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally; be careful not to let it come to a boil. Just as the mixture begins to steam, remove from heat and add the chocolate, allowing it to sit for about 3 minutes before stirring.
Whisk the mixture together until the chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth.
Transfer the sauce to a mason jar or glass bowl and allow to cool to room temperature before serving (it will thicken as it cools). Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. To use after it has chilled, warm briefly in the microwave to bring it to a drizzling state.
Smoked Olive Wood & Cherry Pork Marinade
- 2 bone-in pork chops at least 1" to 1.5” thick”
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic see note
- 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil see note
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- Half of a shallot
- Optional: Fresh cherries halved and pitted
- To marinade: Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In a blender, combine the balsamic, oil, sugar, garlic and shallot. Process until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large zip-top bag.
- Place the pork chops in the bag with the balsamic marinade. Refrigerate, flipping occasionally, for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.
- To cook: Preheat an outdoor grill to 375°F. When hot, add the pork over direct heat, searing each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Move the pork so it continues to cook over indirect heat for about 15 minutes more or until internal temperature reaches at least 145°F.
- To serve: Transfer pork to a serving platter and allow it to rest at least 5 minutes before serving. Top with halved cherries, if desired.
Blue Cheese Puffs with Pistachios and Balsamic-Spiked Cherry Jam
Sweet and savory work well together in these appetizer bites! The cherry adds another layer of rich sweetness yet maintains a tart zing which pairs well with the cheese. Blue cheese can be a little strong, so keep in mind you can swap it for goat or even feta. Adapted from The Olive Oil & Vinegar Lover’s Cookbook. Makes 16 puffs; serves about 8.
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- SIgona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for brushing
- About 3 oz. crumbled blue cheese (swap for goat or feta if desired)
- 3 Tbsp cherry jam (such as Stonewall Kitchen’s sour cherry jam)
- 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- At least 32 individual shelled pistachios, roasted & salted or raw, about 1/8 cup (Look for them in Sigona’s Dried Fruit & Nut section)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Follow package directions for thawing pastry. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Use a pizza cutter to slice the pastry into 16 equal square-like pieces, roughly 2.25” x 2.25”. Lightly grease a mini-muffin tin using olive oil or other cooking oil. Press a piece of pastry into a muffin tin, gently shaping it so the corners are up and the bottom is pressed down, creating a cup.
To each pastry cup add 1 teaspoon of cheese and a 1/2 teaspoon of jam and a pinch of rosemary. Drizzle a little cherry balsamic, about 1/4 teaspoon, over each cup and top. Finish with 2 to 3 pistachios and a pinch of black pepper.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until pastry has puffed and turned a light golden brown around the corners. Serve immediately.
Red Cherry Balsamic Spritzer
A traditional spritzer is made with a bubbly beverage and chilled white wine, but we’ve taken a a page from some of the hot cocktail bars in the city to create a balsamic spritzer using our infused balsamic vinegars as a sort of shrub — aka drinking vinegar — to create a refreshing drink for summer we know you’ll love. Shrubs used as mixers hail back to the 17th century where they were created by infusing vinegar with fruit juice or herbs; we think our infused balsamic is just the ticket. Serves 1.
What you need:
- 4 oz. seltzer, club soda or sparkling water
- 1 Tbsp. Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic
- Optional: fresh cherries, for garnish
Directions: Fill a glass with ice. Add the sparkling beverage and then stir in the balsamic. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.
Bing Cherry, Apple and Pecan Salad with Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
This simple salad is great as a side or as a main course, if you’re looking to keep it light. Adapted from The Pioneer Woman. Serves 8.
- 12 oz. mixed salad greens, such as a spring mix
- 2 apples, such as Braeburn, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pecan halves (look for some of our glazed or candied pecans for extra flavor!)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup quartered fresh, local Bing cherries (remember to remove the pits!)
- 4 – 6 oz. crumbled Feta or blue cheese (such as Point Reyes blue)
- 2 green onions, sliced on the bias, optional
- 1 Tbsp (heaping) Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic (Mix it up! Try Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic)
- 1 tsp honey, such as Blackberry from Honey Hole Honey Co., available at Sigona’s
- 1/4 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Add greens, apple slices, pecan halves, cherries, blue cheese and green onions, if using, into a large salad bowl.
In a small jar, mix Dijon, balsamic, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well to mix.
Pour a little salad dressing over the top of the salad and toss to combine. Taste salad and add more salad dressing, to taste. Serve any remaining dressing on the side.
Cool, refreshing and tangy, these popsicles will please a crowd of grownups or littles. The balsamic really highlights the cherry flavor. Makes about 6.
- 1 lb. fresh, local Bing cherries, pitted and halved (about 2 ½ cups)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
Directions: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cherries with the water, sugar, balsamic and lime juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are very soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Use an immersion blender, a food processor or a blender to puree the mixture. If desired, pour it through a fine sieve to remove any large pieces.
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until frozen through. Enjoy!
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.
Balsamic-Drizzled Summer Stone Fruit over Creamy Gelato
Stone fruits are just coming into season, and though I prefer to eat them out of hand, they’re delicious when roasted, drizzled with balsamic (especially an infused balsamic) and served over ice cream or gelato. Serves 4.
- 12+ cherries, halved with the pit removed
- 2 other stone fruits, such as peaches, apricots, plums or nectarines, quartered with the pit removed
- ½ cup Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic
- 1 pint of Vanilla Bean gelato (we recommend Gelato Massimo; it’s made in Watsonville!)
- 4 mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare fruits as directed.
Place fruits in a baking dish and drizzle with Sigona’s cherry balsamic. Roast fruit for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, scoop gelato into four dessert bowls. Place equal amounts of roasted fruit in the bowls and drizzle with more balsamic (leftovers from the baking dish and/or a drizzle of more from the bottle). Place a mint leaf in each bowl (optional) and serve immediately.
Smoked Turkey and Cherry Salad with a Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
This salad recipe, inspired by this one on the California Cherry Advisory Board website, is a great way to use fresh cherries and our cherry balsamic. Serves 4.
For the salad:
- 1 head Romaine lettuce, medium-chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup diced green onion, some green included
- 2 small mandarins or tangerines, such as Pixie tangerines
- 1 cup smoked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2/3 cup California Bing cherries, washed, halved & pitted
For the balsamic vinaigrette:
- 1/3 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Red Cherry Balsamic
- 1 Tbsp stone-ground mustard
- 1 tsp honey or organic Agave nectar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
Directions: Toss all salad ingredients together, except cherries, in a large bowl.
Add all the vinaigrette ingredients, except the EVOO, in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Slowly drizzle in the EVOO and whisk quickly to emulsify the mixture.
Reserving 1 TBL, drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Add the cherries to the reserved vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Arrange salad on individual plates, sprinkle with cherries and serve immediately.