The November and December months are a wonderful time of the year for gathering and entertaining with friends. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, there are many dinners, parties, and potlucks to indulge in. One thing that I love seeing on a dining table is a leafy, green salad that is fresh, healthy, and full of flavor. I created a recipe using the nutrient dense Pickled Sweet Cherries that we canned over the summer and added them to a spectacular autumnal, green salad. Not only does the recipe use the wonderful sweet cherries, it incorporates the pickling bring into the dressing.
Northwest cherries add sweet jewels of flavor to this salad and are also packed with health benefits. From anti-inflammatory powers to ensuring a good night’s sleep, research shows that cherries are a superfruit offering incredible benefits which include:
  • Covert cancer-fighting agents: A study by the USDA’s Western Human Nutrition
    Research Center suggests that cherries possess cancer-fighting properties. Cherries
    contain ellagic acid, which appears to be a potent inhibitor to the growth of cancer cells.
  • Boosted fiber intake: It’s no secret that Americans don’t eat enough fiber – in fact, many of
    us are fiber deficient, falling short of the 25-35 grams per day recommended by the USDA
    Dietary Guidelines. Eating cherries can help you reach the current dietary recommendation
    of two cups of fruit daily and can contribute to healthy weight maintenance, diabetes
    prevention and improved cardiovascular health.

This autumn salad tastes delicious and is good for you. Serve it at your next gathering and you will receive rave reviews from your loved ones and guests.

Timesaving Tip: Chop or shred the components of this salad a day ahead and refrigerate in sealed plastic bags. Right before serving, toss with dressing, pickled sweet cherries, and Parmesan.

Pickled Sweet Cherry Autumn Salad
Serves 6-8 people as a side
1 bunch kale leaves
1/2-pound Brussels sprouts
1 small head radicchio, cored
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and coarsely pepper
5 oz block Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved with vegetable peeler in shards
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
Wash, dry, and thinly slice kale, Brussels sprouts, and radicchio. I like to use a mandolin for this job on the thinnest setting, but a very sharp knife also works well.
Mandolines are perfect for thinly shaved vegetables
Thinly shaved Brussels sprouts
Place the three ingredients in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, combine pickled sweet cherry juice and olive oil, reserving the cherries. Add kosher salt and pepper to dressing to your taste. Just prior to serving, pour dressing over greens just enough to coat, but reserve remaining dressing for the table. Toss in drained pickled sweet cherries and sunflower seeds.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan in big peels and place over salad. Readjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Recipe inspired by Ina Garten. Inspiration also from Marshall’s Haute Sauce “Preservation Pantry”. I am a paid ambassador with NW Cherry Growers. NW Cherry Growers are working to research, promote, and educate people about the many health benefits of sweet cherries, including those grown in Northwest orchards. For more information, check out their website – #NWCherriesPartner #Ad @nwcherrygrowers