Savory Cherry Relish is Eating Right while Eating Well

I can be a lazy cook. You might not think so, considering the hours I spend in the kitchen, or the amount of thought I put into planning meals. That’s because eating right is important to me. It takes time and attention to bring meals to the table that emphasize fresh and flavorful whole food. I think I make smart choices when it comes to eating right. But more importantly, I want to make sure we are eating well. Eating well requires a cook to be creative and flexible. But being creative in the kitchen day after day can be a chore if you let it. So don’t let it. Embrace the lazy cook in you, and start with this Savory Cherry Relish with Sweet Onions.

Homemade relish or salsa is a colorful way to bring a simple splash of creativity to the plate. For the lazy cook (or the cook who’s in a lazy mood) relish and salsa have the advantage of being quick and easy to prepare without compromising my mantra of eating right while eating well.

At first glance there’s not a whole lot of difference between relish and salsa. It’s easy to say that relish becomes salsa with the addition of a little heat. And that’s true – chile peppers can transform relish into salsa – but spice isn’t the only factor. For me the difference between the two is simple: salsa is an arrangement of tastes and textures that boldly come together in one flavorful bite. Relish however is more subtle. It’s usually intended to enhance another food. Salsa is a melange of ingredients, while relish is best when it highlights one particular ingredient. In this case cherries. Savory Cherry Relish with Sweet Onions.

Serving a piece of grilled fish with a simple fruit or vegetable relish is very typical of what I consider lazy cooking. It is straightforward, flavorful and makes a minimal mess. It’s also a way to highlight the ingredients themselves because you don’t mask them with heavy sauces. Of course grilling is just one way to go. Simple relishes and salsa are great with poached, pan-fried and broiled fish as well.

Savory Cherry Relish with Sweet Onions

I’m serving this Savory Cherry Relish with seared salmon. I think that the richness of salmon is perfect with fruit relishes. Same with tuna.

Once you have the idea, there’s plenty room to let the lazy cook in you eat as well as he or she likes. GREG

Stack of sweet onion slicesworking with cherriesgrilled onionsSavory Cherry Relish

Savory Cherry Relish with Sweet Onions 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4–6Source Adapted from Tom DouglasPublished
Savory Cherry Relish


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch each kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper (plus more as needed)
  • 8 ounce sweet onion (such as Wallwalla, Vidalia or Maui) peeled and cut into ⅓‑inch slices
  • ½ pound fresh cherries (pitted and halved)
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


Place the onion slices in a medium bowl; toss with olive, salt and pepper.

Set a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Once hot to the point of almost smoking, carefully lay the onion slices out in a single layer. Grill them, turning as needed, until nicely marked and beginning to soften; about 7 minutes. Remove the onions from heat and coarsely chop them.

In a medium bowl combine chopped grilled onions, halved cherries, and vinegar; toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.