Irresistible to look at, delectable to eat, and gloriously low in calories, cherries are the darlings of the fruit world. On top of this, these sweet ruby bombs are just exploding with nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Life is just a bowl of cherries at this time of year when the otherwise impossibly expensive fruit, is in season. So what do you do when life hands you a box of cherries? Here are some ideas to get whet your appetite.

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Sour Cherry Gin & Tonic
How perfect that cherry season coincides with the festive season? Mix up this sexy pink G&T to serve at one of many long lunches this December.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, water
  • 3 limes
  • Gin of choice
  • Tonic of choice

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, combine the cherries, sugar and water. Using a wooden spoon, mash the cherries with the back of a spoon. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer, allowing the cherries to cook down and thicken. You might need to add a splash or two of extra water.
  2. Turn off the heat and allow the syrup to come to room temperature; the mixture will thicken as it cools. Run the cherry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing the cherry pulp with the back of a spoon to release all of its juices. Squeeze in the juice from 1 lime.
  3. To assemble the cocktails, add about 30ml of cherry syrup and 60ml of gin to each glass. Add ice and top the whole drink off with a few splashes of tonic water. Garnish with a few slices of lime and whole cherry.

Yield: 2 servings

Recipe and Image from here

Cherry Robiola

Sweet Cherries with Robiola Cheese
The creamy texture and mild flavour of Robiala is the perfect accompaniment for sweet dark cherries. No Robiola? Substitute a soft goats cheese for an equally delicious treat.

Ingredients

  • Robiola cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh sweet cherries
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 baguette, ripped into pieces

Method

  1. Place cheese on a serving platter. Top with cherries, almonds, and thyme. Drizzle with oil. Serve with baguette.

Recipe and Image from here

Cherry compote

Cherry Compote
Here’s a way to savour cherries after the season has finished – a versatile compote that can be enjoyed as a sandwich spread or a sweet treat stirred into Greek yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups halved and pitted fresh sweet cherries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, combine cherries, sugar, fresh rosemary, and one tablespoon water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cherries are nice and tender and liquid is slightly thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar; season lightly with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature until cool. Serve or store.

Compote can last up to 2 weeks.

Recipe from here, image from here.  

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Cherry Pecan Brussels Sprouts With Tarragon & Madeira Wine Reduction
Eat your greens and love it with this yummy and simple side recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Table spoons olive oil (or more as needed)
  • 2 cups of trimmed, and halved Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup (or more if you like) pitted and halved fresh cherries
  • 1/4 cup broken pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (about two medium sized sections)
  • Coarse sea salt to taste and pepper to taste

For reduction:

  • 1/2 cup dry Madeira wine
  • 5-6 cherries, pitted and very finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh tarragon, bruised and finely chopped

Method

  1. Pre-heat your pan over medium heat. Add the oil and the shallots and cook for about 5 min or until they just start to turn golden. Use a fork to pull the shallots into a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add a little more oil if needed and turn the heat up to med-high and place the Brussels sprouts in the pan, flat side facing down. Spread them out evenly around the pan. Cook until brown on the flat side and begin to crisp up a bit (about 3 min). Toss them around, cooking and stirring as need till they are just cooked through (about 8-10 min). Add in the pecans, cherry halves and shallots about 5 min before the sprouts are done cooking.
  3. Remove all the ingredients from the skillet and set aside. Keep the heat on and leave any oil that is left in the skillet in for the sauce.
  4. Pour the wine into the hot skillet and add the tarragon and the finely chopped cherries. Cook until the mixture is reduced by a little over half (about 4-5 min).
  5. Add the Brussels back into the pan and mix well.

Compiled by Layla Leiman