I love sweet, salty and sour combinations; it really livens up a plate of food to have all the different flavours going on. Cherries are perfect for pickling. They have a sweet note that pairs perfectly with a simple red wine pickle. Throw them together with some melon, courgette and some salty feta for a surprisingly refreshing summer salad.
Serves 4 as a starter
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
Cooling time 30 minutes
50 ml red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sea salt
100g caster sugar
200g cherries, halved and stones removed
1 medium courgette, stalk removed
1/2 firm cantaloupe melon, skin and seeds removed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
small handful mint leaves
- Place the red wine vinegar, salt, water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes, stirring to make sure all the salt and sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat, pour into a bowl or container and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the cherries and leave to cool to room temperature. (if making ahead of time, place in the fridge to chill).
- Use a speed peeler or mandolin to make courgette ribbons the length of the courgette. Thinly slice with a knife or use a mandoline to thinly slice the melon into long strips.
- Toss the melon in a bowl with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on a large platter. Sprinkle on the mint, crumble on the feta and scatter over the cherries.
- Drizzle a couple of tbsps. of the pickling liquid over the top.
Feta can be replaced with a creamy burrata or mozzarella.
The pickled cherries make a great accompaniment to a cheese board.
The cherries can be kept in the fridge for a few days. The flavour will intensify.