Let me just begin by saying that this is not an original recipe from me, as I found it here. But it seriously turned out too good not to share our experience with it, especially since we're coming to the end of cherry season here in France. I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that this weekend we'll be able to find some at the market to make one last batch of this deliciousness.
The original recipe doesn't specify how long these babies need to sit and get delicious in your fridge, so we had to guesstimate. We let ours pickle for 2 weeks, but I think you could also try them after a week or so. Using a nicely sealed jar will allow your pickled cherries to stay good for a month in the fridge, based on our experience (and a google search).
What to do with the leftover juice once the cherries are all gone? We've bottled ours up, put it back in the fridge, and are going to be using it on plain spinach salads (since I can't have lettuce salads) for the next few weeks. Waste not, want not, especially when it's this delicious.
Quick pickled cherries:
(as adapted from and posted by "Mixed Greens")
3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorn
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. of fresh cherries, stems removed and pitted
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
*My thoughts: next time I may add a 2nd sprig of rosemary as I couldn't taste much of a rosemary influence on the cherries. These have a good kick of spicy-ness at the end from the pepper flakes and peppercorns, so I'm curious what a stronger rosemary taste would add to the overall flavor. When we do try this again I will update you guys on whether the second sprig of rosemary made a difference or not.
1. In a medium saucepan, bring white vinegar, sugar, black peppercorns, coriander seeds and red pepper flakes to a boil with 3/4 cups of water. After the mixture begins to boil reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a bowl, preferably one with a pour spout. (Trust me, it'll make your life easier.)
3. Place sprig of rosemary (or 2) and clean, stemmed and pitted cherries into a 1 quart or 1/2 liter mason or canning jar. (We used a 1/2 liter La Parfait jar, and there was just a little bit of room left at the top once we were finished.)
4.Pour pickling liquid over cherries and rosemary sprig to cover.
5. Cover and allow to cool before storing in the fridge. We let ours pickle for 2 weeks, as mentioned above, but you could always try yours sooner.
Wondering how to use your pickled cherries? We were too. Our two favorite uses for them so far have been as an appetizer on slices of baguette with a really good comte or goat cheese (a slice of prosciutto would have been a nice touch, if I were allowed cured meats), and in a spinach salad with goat cheese, red onion, walnuts, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar (we thought using the vinegar from the cherries would be overload city). Next time on the salad I'd like to candy the walnuts, as I think the sweetness would mix really nicely with the pickled taste of the cherries. I was kicking myself that we waited to try this salad until we were on the last of the remaining pickled cherries as I think I could literally eat this salad everyday. If we can make another batch this weekend I have a feeling that is exactly what is going to happen. I also have another recipe up my sleeve for the pickled cherries, so if we can make some more I'll be sure to share that with you guys. That is, if I don't eat them all with spinach.
A la prochaine friends...