The Ingredient: Cherries
For such a little fruit, cherries pack a big punch—both in flavor and nutrition. They get their intense, concentrated color from anthocyanins, plant pigments that double as antioxidant flavonoids and work to protect several body systems. With a long history in folk medicine, anthocyanins are now known to protect against oxidative stress and act as a powerful anti-inflammatory, helping to maintain the health of the nervous system, large and small blood vessels, and eyesight. Some studies have even shown anthocyanins to inhibit the growth of some human tumor cells. As if you needed another excuse to eat cherries, right?
The Recipe: Savory Cherry Sauce
Makes 4 servings
This simple sauce brings to life any pork chop, duck or even grilled chicken breast—not to mention, it is an incredible way to use up all of these cherries. To save time, you can make it ahead of time and reheat in the skillet before serving. Enjoy!
¼ cup butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
¼ cup beef broth
2 tablespoons red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon rosemary, coarsely chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the cherries and shallot; cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add red wine, broth and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add rosemary and pepper and reduce until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Spoon this sauce over grilled pork chops, turkey, duck, or chicken, and serve!
Recommended wine pairing: A bright, red-fruit driven California pinot noir with plenty of—you guessed it—cherry notes will really help this sauce to be all it can be. Look for some very reasonably priced bottles from Santa Barbara vineyards and get cooking!