It’s cherry season!
Do you know what that means? I’m buying all the cherries I can. If you’re anything like me, you’re waiting for cherry prices to drop every summer, and then going hog-wild. Maybe wild-cherry would be more appropriate?!
Can I share something with you? I didn’t even like cherries until a couple years ago. I guess “didn’t like” is a misnomer – it’s not that I didn’t like them, it’s that I hardly had any exposure to real, natural cherries. My experience with cherries growing up was picking out the far and few between bright pink cherry-like fruits in fruit cocktail, and artificially cherry-flavored Starburst.
We had other fruits to obsess over in the little Midwest town I spent my summers in – strawberry patches, watermelon, and the sweetest, juiciest cantaloupe I’ve ever had. Oh, and of course sweet corn. Always sweet corn.
But now, now I’m looking for all the ways to incorporate cherries into my summer routine! Speaking of buying all the cherries once they’re on sale, I’ve had an abundance. This Quick Cherry Quinoa Salad came to be because of just that: too many ingredients, too little time. Time as in, things need to be eaten before they go bad!
So I sat and thought, and I had everything that would fit perfectly together:
- Sweet, slightly tart summer cherries
- Bold blue cheese
- Crunchy walnuts
- Mildly sweet, tangy shallot
- Fragrant rosemary
- Peppery arugula (just a handful!)
- Bright lemon juice
- Sweet honey drizzle
I threw all these magical ingredients together and before I knew it I thought I definitely needed to share it with you. Who isn’t always looking for a quick, easy, delicious lunch recipe anyway? It’d also be great as a side dish, or a potluck offering. Especially when you’re trying to eat a little healthier between all those Oreo Bars and Sweet Corn Ice Cream.
I hate to bring it up, but it’s also going to be a great recipe to have on hand in about a month when… when… no, I can’t say it. Once that time comes and it’s no longer cherry season, I have a hunch that dried cherries will be almost as good in it, too! Never fear, we’re keeping this one around all year long!
Quick Cherry Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2/3 heaping cup cherries quartered
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 small shallot chopped (~3 Tablespoons)
- Salt to taste
- Drizzle of honey
- Handful of arugula optional
- Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low-medium and let simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, fluff. Let cool slightly. *If your quinoa has different instructions, go with them.
- Toss together cooled quinoa and remaining ingredients: cherries, rosemary, walnuts, lemon juice, shallot, and salt; drizzle honey. Toss in blue cheese at the end to prevent clumping. You may want to toss the arugula in a drizzle of olive oil if adding.