Cheering for Cherries

_DSC0546I can hardly believe that we’re already in June. That means the school year is coming to an end, June gloom is dictating the temperatures in SF and, of course, it’s cherry season! The farmer’s market stands are crowded with all kinds of stone fruits including peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, apricots and cherries. Get your filling while it lasts. As far as I’m concerned, I can’t have enough cherries. The best way to eat these little juicy gems is probably right off the tree or at least by popping them into your mouth and letting the sweetness run down your chin. However, if you want to eat cherries in a more mannered way, and without messing up your clothes, we suggest you try this estival quinoa salad. Who says you can’t dress a fruit salad. Come and cook with us!

Cherries are considered a super fruit thanks to their high levels of antioxidants, that have shown to alleviate inflammation and arthritic pain. These anti-inflammation, anti-aging, anti-cancer compounds include a flavonoid called quercetin which in addition to being a potent anti-cancer agent, helps to alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms. Cherries have also shown to lower levels of uric acid in the blood, which is one of the most common causes of gout pain.

The best way to keep cherries is by refrigeration as they are highly perishable. Do not wash them until you’re ready to eat or use them, as the moisture will hasten spoilage.

This stone fruit salad can be used as a guideline for a multitude of different savory fruit salads. Be creative and use what’s in season. We selected apricots and yellow peaches in addition to the cherries, but you can also include blueberries, plums and strawberries. There is even flexibility in which type of grains used and the quinoa can be substituted with farro, kamut or wheat berries (which contain gluten, for those who are trying to avoid it). Finally, the addition of ricotta salata and a handful of chopped nuts is optional. What I’m insisting on, however, is the mint which will lend a refreshing flavor pop that brings me right into summer. Hope you enjoy our stone fruit salad. Come and cook with us!

Stone Fruit Salad

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