Sweet cherries are in season and quite frankly, I don’t remember ever seeing them going for such a ridiculously low price. I guess cold and rainy must be very good conditions for cherries to grow! Seriously, this year they are crazy delicious, crisp, juicy and oh so sweet, too! The best I’ve eaten in a long time, for sure. In fact, I’ve pretty much been living off the things for the past month.
Would you believe me if I told you that I bought well over 25 pounds of the ruby red jewels so far and that I am about to go buy more because I’m almost out?
Well, obviously, I’ve been using them in quite a few recipes, like this Gluten Free Cherry Almond Cake, for instance, or this Sweet Cherry Bulgur Salad I’m sharing with you today. And a few other ones that I’ve yet to share, too…
This surprising and refreshing salad right here sure is a delightful way to make make use of sweet cherries in a style that’s totally unique and delicious. Like most salads, this one is super easy to make and it’s pretty sturdy, too! It’ll keep very well in the fridge for up to several days.
The only thing you must keep in mind is that you must soak your bulgur overnight, so you need to plan ahead, slightly. But really, there’s nothing to it. All you need to do is place your dry bulgur wheat in a fine mesh sieve and rinse it very well under cold running water, then transfer it to a bowl and cover with 3 cups of cold water. Place that in the fridge to soak overnight, or at least 6 hours.
So yeah, I suppose you could even do that before you left for work in the morning…
Then, all that’s left to do is drain that soaked bulgur wheat really well and place it in a large bowl along with the halved sweet cherries, celery, arugula leaves and pine nuts.
Granted, pitting the cherries might take a few minutes, but if you’re as big a fan of this nature’s candy as I am, you might find it worth your while to invest in a good cherry pitter! They cost close to nothing and will save you tons of work over the course of the years… and they do a real good job at pitting olives, too, you know. Just sayin’!
So anyway, once all your salad components have been added to the bowl, grab a small Mason jar type container and in it, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Give that jar a vigorous shake, until all is very well blended and slightly emulsified; pour that right over the salad!
Now toss gently until all the ingredients are well combined.
Oh, and erm, say you didn’t have pine nuts on hand or didn’t care to spend a small fortune to buy just a handful of them, don’t fret. You could very well replace them with just about any kind of toasted nut: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios… Really, any of them would work just as good.
Not a fan of arugula? Use chopped baby spinach leaves instead!
As for the feta cheese, you could totally replace it with unripened goat cheese, or even just plain leave it all if you preferred to stay away from dairy.
Once your salad has been sufficiently tossed, garnish it with the crumbled feta and serve immediately or place it in the fridge for about an hour to allow all those beautiful flavors to meld.
Should you be lucky enough as to generate leftovers, know that this salad will keep well for up to several days in the refrigerator.
- 1-1/2 cups (240g | 8.5oz) dry bulgur, rinsed and soaked overnight*
- 1-1/2 cups (200g | 7oz) pitted sweet cherries, cut in half
- 1 celery rib, finely sliced
- 1 handful fresh arugula leaves
- ¼ cup (35g | 1.25oz) pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup (50g | 1.75oz) crumbled feta cheese
- Drain the soaked bulgur really well and place it in a large bowl along with the sweet cherries, celery, arugula leaves and pine nuts. Set aside.
- In a small Mason jar type container, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and shake vigorously until very well blended and slightly emulsified; pour over the salad and toss gently to combine.
- Garnish with the crumbled feta and serve immediately or place in the fridge for about an hour to allow flavors to meld.
- This salad will keep for up to a few days in the refrigerator.