JoyFoodly is delighted to create recipes each month for Whole Foods Market’s ‘Now in Season’ program. Be sure to look for our recipe cards in your Northern California stores, and don’t forget to speak with your Whole Foods Market produce person when picking out your summer cherries. They always have the best tips and easy recipes—and often offer tasty samples.
Cherries make me feel special. I could survive on a hot summer day, just snacking on their juicy flesh. For me, they are best when eaten raw as a simple dessert or snack, but from time to time, I adore playing with cherries in the kitchen for more savory culinary delights.
A few years ago, my husband and I traveled in the Cyclades islands of Greece, where I first fell in love with a grilled wheel of cheese with a sweet and savory tomato jam on top. It had that perfect combination of comfort food but with an elegant simple sophistication. I’m using brie in this recipe, but you could easily play with this by substituting a wheel of goat or another cheese you love. During summer, when you have friends over for a backyard BBQ or a simple dinner party, kick off your night with my cherry chutney over a grilled wheel of your favorite cheese. You are sure to impress your guests!
First things first: how do you pick a good cherry?
- For sweet red cherries, look for a deep color, a bright green stem, and a firmness when touched.
- For Rainier Cherries (yellow and red colored), they are naturally less firm and their color does not signify under ripeness. A red or pink blush indicates sugar accumulation from the sun.
- Always taste one cherry if you can for ripeness before buying.
And how do you remove those pits quickly?!
We’ve got a few ideas for you to make prepping your cherries easy and fun.
Looking for other easy and family fun summer recipes? Join me in my Kitchen Learning Lab, the Joyful 12, where you can learn how to make your fruits and veggies sing with flavor!
- cherries, 3 cups (about 1.0 lbs)
- apple cider vinegar, ⅛ cup
- vidalia onion, 1
- ginger, fresh, 2 teaspoons
- apricot marmalade, 8 oz
- cumin, ¼ teaspoon
- dijon mustard, 3 teaspoons
- salt, 1 teaspoon
- agave nectar, 1 tablespoon
- brie cheese wheel, 8 oz
- Take 5 minutes to get out all your ingredients, measuring and cooking equipment needed, and place them on a cookie sheet within easy reach.
- Wash all produce.
- Remove pits from cherries with a cherry pitter.
- Chop pitted cherries into medium sized pieces.
- Dice vidalia onion.
- Mix all the chutney ingredients together (except Brie Cheese) in a pot, cover, and bring up to a boil.
- Reduce down to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes on low heat.
- While the chutney is cooking, preheat a grill or griddle pan to medium-low.
- Brush top of cheese wheel with olive oil.
- Place oiled side of cheese down on the center of the warmed grill. Grill until the rind is soft, about 8-10 minutes. Check to make sure the cheese does not stick to the grill.
- Use a metal spatula to invert the cheese wheel onto a plate (grilled side up). Let it cool slightly before cutting into the wheel.
- Spoon cherry chutney over the warm cheese and serve slathered on top of your favorite bread or crackers.
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