During the height of the “cherry season” ~ try this wonderful Cherry Salsa that’s tart, spicy with a hint of sweetness. Add to layers of tortilla chips and cheeses for the ultimate, updated NACHOS ~ YUM!
- 1 ½ cups pitted bing cherries, divided, (about 1 pound of cherries with pits)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 2 pinches chipotle powder, or other spicy ground chiles if not available
- 1 large jalapeño
- ⅓ cup sweet onions, 1/4″dice
- ½ cup pum tomatoes, seeded, chopped 1/4″
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 12 large fresh basil leaves, more for garnish
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Pit the cherries (by hand or with a cherry pitter), slice them in half.
In a small non-reactive pot add 1/2 pitted cup cherries, balsamic vinegar, water and chipotle powder, bring to a simmer uncovered.
When comes to a simmer, cover and turn the heat to low – cook just 3 minutes to soften the cherries.
Cool slightly, purée in a small food processor until smooth.
Char the jalapeño:
Rub with a small amount of neutral oil and char in a skillet over high heat, turn with tongs for even blackening.
Cool slightly, cut off the top and stem, seed with a small pairing knife.
Cut into thin rings. Mince half, save the other half for garnish. (See photo in BLOG.)
Finish the Salsa:
Add the cherry purée to a medium sized bowl. Add the minced jalapeño, onion, tomatoes, pepper, basil and sea salt.
Taste for seasonings.
Optional: Stir in a few halved, pitter Rainier Cherries (a cross between the ‘Bing’ and ‘Van’ cherry) into the salsa for a nice color contrast.
Use immediately, or store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Serve with chips, over grilled chicken or shrimp kebobs – or with my awesome Layered Cheese Nachos with Fresh Cherry Salsa! (see recipe.)
This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.
Makes: 2 cups