Cherry RecipesThe Cherry on Top
Summer is in full swing. Sweet cherries, our Galavante ingredient of the month, highlight this bright evening menu. Smoke from cedar planks on the grill seeps through the salmon filet, and the cherry and yuzu glaze adds a sweet-tart flavor to every bite. The crisp cucumber salad is the perfect accompaniment, and topping off the meal is the Rainier cherry clafouti, which will have everyone wanting seconds (and thirds). Enjoy.
Place cedar plank(s) in pan and soak for at least 2 hours or overnight in white wine or water. Soaking will prevent the plank from burning and the white wine will add another layer of flavor to the salmon. Note that cedar planks can be purchased at any specialty cookware store. Planks are usually 15x6 inches long; if salmon is too wide or too long for plank, fold in thinner/shorter side to fit on plank.
Preheat gas grill for 15 minutes on high heat and close lid.
Remove cedar plank from soaking liquid and wipe dry with a paper towel. Lightly rub the side of the plank that will hold the salmon with 2–3 tablespoons of canola oil. Place un-oiled side of plank in the middle of the grill, reduce heat to medium and cover grill for 10 minutes. The cedar plank will begin to smoke slightly. After 10 minutes, carefully open grill; some smoke will escape. (The edges of the cedar plank may burn or blacken – that’s OK. If the edges have caught a flame, sprinkle with a little water to extinguish flame.)
Lightly rub both sides of the salmon with canola oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place salmon fillet on top of cedar plank, brush with cherry-yuzu glaze and close lid. Keep the lid closed so salmon is engulfed in smoke. Cook salmon 15–18 minutes. After 12 minutes, check salmon for doneness. It will start to release some opaque juices. Do not flip salmon. Again, brush salmon with cherry-yuzu glaze. Continue to cook salmon another 3–6 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork. When done, use spatula and tongs to remove the salmon from the plank to a cutting board or large baking sheet.
Let salmon rest for 5 minutes. Cut salmon into 6 equal portions and serve.
Place cherries, water, yuzu, sugar and salt in saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about half.
Place strainer over bowl and pour cherries with liquid into strainer. With the back of a spoon, push down on cherries and skins to extract all their juice and pulp. Discard solids.
Return liquid to saucepan, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 2–3 minutes or until glaze has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and cool. Transfer to container and store in refrigerator until ready to grill salmon.
Fresh garden cucumbers with their dark-green skin are perfect for this salad. The vinegar dressing with fresh dill and mint is a good contrast to the salmon with the cherry-yuzu glaze.
Yield 6 servings
In a large bowl, add the vinegar, olive oil, salt and black pepper; stir with wire whisk. Add cucumbers, red onion, dill and mint. Toss all ingredients together. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Cherry season is in full bloom. No cherry pie, tart or crumble for us. The classic French clafouti is the perfect foil for sweet summer cherries. If you’ve whipped up pancake batter before this recipe will be no sweat.
Rainier cherries are best – thanks to their distinctive yellowish and red-blush skin, this is hands-down the sweetest cherry around. Named after Mount Rainier in Washington State, I’m extremely partial to this cherry because scientists at my alma mater, Washington State University, developed it.
Yield 6–8 servings
Preheat oven to 350F°. Butter and lightly flour the baking dish.
In a blender add the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, optional Amaretto and salt. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the flour and blend until smooth. Pour batter into buttered baking dish. Distribute cherries evenly on top of batter.
Place baking dish in the middle rack in the oven and bake for about 50 to 60 minutes. The clafouti will puff up during baking and start to brown. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center, if it comes out clean, it’s done. Remove the clafouti when done. It will deflate slightly as it cools. When cool dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm and enjoy.