Once in awhile a recipe comes along that changes my world. This happened a few months ago when I discovered the beauty that is pineapple fried quinoa. As a result of this discovery I think I ate enough pineapples over the winter to feed a small island. And then there was this tahini broccoli salad with cashews. After this my fridge has always been stocked with tahini, broccoli, and red onions. Always.
But then I recently discovered that you can roast cherries. And when cherries are roasted, their juices condense into the most intensely flavorful, sweet, cherry goodness that you can possibly imagine. It is utterly indescribable. If you are not a cherry person, I don't know what to tell you to convince you otherwise. But if you are? This recipe is mandatory.
This salad was inspired by this week's farmers market bounty. Fresh cherries and a bunch of mizuna, baby romaine, and baby kale. Mizuna is a green with peppery flavor, similar to arugula. Any mix of greens would work fine in this salad, but I especially loved the peppery and sweet contrast of the mizuna and cherries. If you can't find mizuna, arugula would be an easy substitution.
Once you roast the cherries, the rest of this salad is kept simple. I added some raw cashews and a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze. Balsamic glaze is also called balsamic reduction, which is balsamic vinegar that has been cooked down to form a thick, tangy-sweet syrup. I used a storebought version, but there are plenty of tutorials out there if you want to make your own.
Mizuna Salad with Roasted Cherries and Balsamic Glaze
Serves 4 as a side
6 cups salad greens (I used 3 cups mizuna, 2 cups baby romaine, and 1 cup baby kale)
2 cups cherries, stemmed, pitted, and sliced in half
1/2 cup cashews (raw or roasted)
olive oil for drizzling
balsamic glaze for drizzling
coarse black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper (to keep cherries from sticking) and add cherry halves. Roast for 15 - 20 minutes, turning once, until cherries are mostly dried and intensely sweet.
Divide salad greens among plates. Top with roasted cherries and cashews. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Top with fresh pepper.