Really good cherries are hard to beat for flavor and beauty. This application is something that goes well with duck, pork or chicken as a side dish, but also is good as a dessert over ice cream. It is super simple. You just have to find some really super cherries! I got mine from Whole Foods just as the cherry season was beginning. I used bing cherries but any large firm variety would work for this.
Start with firm ripe cherries
1 lb of cherries,(don’t pit or remove stems)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
Whole nutmeg, grated
Fleur de Sel salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Rinse the cherries with cold water and pad them dry gently with a kitchen towel.
3. Place cherries in a bowl and toss them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer cherries to a non-reactive baking dish (glass or porcelain are ideal) with the stem standing up. Preferably, the cherries will fit really close to one another. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
5. Roast the cherries in the oven for 20 minutes or until they start to release their juices. Remove the foil, and place the baking dish back in the oven for another 5 minutes to allow the juices caramelize a bit.
6. Remove from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Serve cherries as desired spooning some of the juices over the cherries.
For me, it is a right of passage of sorts. I remember back over 30 years ago when as a young bride in the Low Country we had just moved in to a new house on the St. Helena Sound. my neighbor brought me over a little brown paper sack filled with yellow squash. She told me to go to the Piggly Wiggly and buy a “mess” of Vidalia Onions and explained this very simple recipe. Every spring I make this and think of the gift that Belle gave me. These two vegetables which appear at the same time every spring in the South will always be a perfect pairing in my mind. You can use any sweet onion to make this. Fortunately I had the amazing luck to come upon a shipment of Vidalias here in Hawaii. I grabbed them up and have been making all kinds of good things with them. But when I was at the farmer’s market and saw this yellow squash, I had to make this.
The recipe is embarrassingly simple and I am sure you will love the velvety texture that is the result.
Vidalia Onions and the First Yellow Squash of the Season
3 Vidalia or other sweet onions sliced
3 tender yellow squash sliced
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan
In a generous skillet, heat the olive oil and put in the squash in an even layer. Brown and turn.
Add the onions and stir, sautee till the onions start to sweat.
Clean a hot spot in the center of the pan and add the minced garlic. Stir again.
When the onions turn translucent and just start to brown, add the cheese and stir till it starts to melt.
Add salt and pepper. Serve immediately.