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Cherry Vinaigrette for Simple Greens

Cherry Vinaigrette for a Simple Salad of Arugula and Manchego

It’s probably an exaggeration to say that the dressing makes the salad. Still, a carefully mixed dressing can turn a simple collaboration of arugula with a few shavings of Manchego into something more than the sum of its parts. The trick, of course, is getting the balance just right. Salad dressings are all about sweet and sour, or agrodolce as the Italians call it. Even the simplest vinaigrette of fruity olive oil and sharp vinegar follows this formula. For me, it’s the most addictive flavor combination and the definition of a good green salad. In the case of this peppery arugula salad, I think that a peppy Cherry Vinaigrette seems a natural pairing.

I bring this up because we’ve all been there. You’ve made a fabulous meal. But you’ve spent all your time on the main event. Suddenly it occurs to you that there’s nothing fresh and green on the plate. Maybe there’s fresh and maybe there’s green. But my metabolism requires fresh and green.

Cherry Vinaigrette for a Simple Salad

Enter the simple green salad. It can be just a handful of fresh arugula leaves, which doesn’t need much more than a vinaigrette to make it special. But what kind of vinaigrette?

Well, for me, the combination of sweet, tart, juicy cherries next to the spicy bite of arugula works really well. After that, all you need is a salty hit of aged Manchego cheese to add that hint of animal funk. GREG

Cherry Vinaigrette for a Simple Salad of Arugula and Manchego

Sweet Cherry Vinaigrette

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4–6Published
Sweet Cherry Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 6 ounce sweet cherries (about 30 cherries, halved and pitted)
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup very good extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1–2 pinch granulated sugar (optional)

Directions

Warm the water and honey in a small saucepan set over medium heat until the honey dissolves. Add cherries and poach without boiling for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool in the liquid, then strain the cherries, saving 1 tablespoon of the syrupy poaching liquid.

Place the minced shallot, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, reserved poaching liquid, salt and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in the oil, cover tightly and shake to emulsify. Set aside.

When ready to serve reshake the vinaigrette if necessary then gently stir in the poached cherries. Taste the vinaigrette, it may need a pinch or two of sugar to balance the flavor. Use immediately.

 

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