Clearly I’m a little obsessed with peaches lately. Good job, too, since they’re in season and delicious. I’ve had Stuffed Peaches, Banana Bread Pudding with Peaches and now this salad: Arugula, Peach & Goat Cheese with Cherry Dressing. And those are just the peach recipes I’ve published. Add to my peachy preoccupation the fact that I bought about 8 lbs of cherries last week because they were on sale, and it’s been a super-fruity kinda time over here at Meatified HQ!
Although I kept behind a couple of pounds for eating fresh, I pitted the rest in a marathon de-pitting-fest (I highly recommend getting a good quality cherry pitter like this one for the task!) and froze them. Mr Meatified’s favorite pie which I make for him every birthday is cherry, but since cherries aren’t in season during his birthday, I rely on saving frozen ones for him in advance. I find that they freeze really well and don’t go mushy, even after several months in the freezer.
After gorging on fresh cherries for a while, I needed to use up the remainder and this cherry dressing was one of the ways in which finished them up. Most cherry dressing recipes rely on pre-made juices or concentrates, but this one uses real cherries. Yay! You can make it with either fresh or frozen cherries, both produce the same results. I chose to pair this gorgeously colored dressing with ripe peaches, peppery arugula and fresh basil. The combination is intoxicatingly delicious and if you can tolerate dairy I highly recommend adding a good quality, crumbly fresh goat cheese: the slight saltiness balances all the flavors beautifully. Whatever you do, drizzle that cherry dressing liberally!
How to make the Cherry Dressing
This couldn’t be easier! Simply add your fresh or frozen cherries to a blender along with a few tablespoons of water. Process them until liquefied and then strain them through a fine meshed strainer into a bowl, discarding the leftover cherry pulp. Whisk in a mild flavored olive oil (extra virgin is pretty overpowering here) and some fresh lemon juice. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper – that’s it!
- ½ cup fresh or frozen (no sugar added) cherries
- 2 tbl water
- 2 tbl mild flavored olive oil
- 1 tbl lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 cups arugula
- 2 peaches, sliced finely
- 4 fine slices red onion
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- Basil leaves, chopped finely, for garnish
- In a blender, combine the cherries and water until liquefied. Strain the cherries using a fine meshed strainer to remove the cherry pulp and keep the cherry juices in a bowl.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; whisk to emulsify.
- Divide the arugula between four plates. Top with finely sliced red onion and peach slices.
- Sprinkle the crumbled goats cheese on top of the salads and drizzle liberally with cherry dressing.
- Garnish with sliced basil leaves and serve.
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