Cherry & Arugula Salad with Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Cherry and Arugula Salad with Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

  • Servings: Serves: 4 to 6
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1 5-ounce tub of baby arugula greens
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup cucumber, seeded and small-diced
½ cup fresh mozzarella, cut into half-inch cubes
¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved (about 15 cherries)
Cherry Vinaigrette

In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Transfer the arugula to a medium platter, distributing evenly all around. Top with the red onion, cucumber, mozzarella, pistachios and cherries, then drizzle with ¼ cup of the cherry vinaigrette, adding more as desired, or leave the salad plain and serve the dressing on the side.

Cherry Vinaigrette

Makes: About 1 cup

1 cup fresh cherries, halved and pitted
¼ cup water
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
3 large basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water (add more if too thick)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place the cherries and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the cherries are reduced to a half-cup, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from burner and let cherries cool for 5 minutes.

Use a food processor or blender to blitz the cooled cherries with all the ingredients, except the olive oil. Turn the processor or blender on and mix until thoroughly combined, about 45 to 60 seconds; taste and add more seasoning as desired.

With the machine running, add the olive oil through the feed slot in a slow, steady stream and blend for 1 minute. Check the consistency of the dressing and add more water if too thick. Blend for another minute, then refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve cold or at room temperature as a dressing for salads, or warm as a sauce for pork and chicken.

To store: The vinaigrette may be prepared in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Sarah’s Tip:

  • Tossing the arugula with olive oil, salt and pepper before assembling the salad enhances the overall texture of the salad.
  • For a spicy version, add some fresh jalapeno with the cherries, starting with half a pepper, roughly chopped, and adding more as desired.
  • Other herbs like cilantro and fresh mint can be added in place of, or in addition to, the basil.