Balsamic Cherry ‘Salsa’ 2


Bright and sweet with a bit of heat, this cherry salsa is delightful enjoyed with a spoon, chips or creamy cottage cheese. It’s vegetarian and gluten-free. Skip to the recipe.

Balsamic Cherry ‘Salsa’

Last week it rained. Last weekend it rained. This morning it rained in big, sideways sheets. But now the sun is out and it’s spilling through the skylights in a milky texture like a sheer slip. Or what I think a sheer slip would like if I had one.

Does anyone have slips anymore or have they all disappeared into the depths of our grandmother’s closets along with scratchy pantyhose and pinching garter belts? Maybe slips are making a comeback. Sort of like the Spanx corset, only this revamped spandex version would soothe tighten you from armpit fat to sturdy knee?

Most likely slips are one of those elegant lady kinds of things, that I should have learned to appreciate in finishing school, but somehow lost along the way with curtsying and napkin folding. It’s probably the kind of refined tidbit someone like Portia Smith, from Obsessed by Portia, keeps in her arsenal as a secret weapon.

Balsamic Cherry ‘Salsa’

Me and my two-step makeup routine learned a thing or two last week from the snazzy social media star – mainly that she’s as sweet and humble in person as she is online. The gal’s got sparkle. And a whole lot of makeup know how, an uncanny ability to pose, and a fabulous ability to make you want to travel.

We spent two days with Taryn Hall and Sarah Shaefer, co-founders of The Isla Vida Group. They planned a dreamy 2-day adventure throughout Orcas Island and Lopez Island filled with behind the scenes tours, exquisite dinners, and some of the loveliest views you ever did see.

I shucked my first oyster, sailed on my first sailboat, ate WAY too many baked goods, and, most importantly, got to know three amazing women.

Balsamic Cherry ‘Salsa’

In the coming months, I’ll dive further into the goodness that was last week. But we’re not quite there yet. That needs some marinating and some relishing all the pastry, noodle bowl, chicken roulade goodness (while working it off).

This recipe is inspired by a recent Cooking Light magazine (and by the AMAZING cherry scones at Holly B’s Bakery on Lopez Island). The original recipe has you spoon the salsa over chicken thighs. Garrett and I found it hard to eat.

Instead, I spooned it over cottage cheese. The full-fat kind that’s ultra-luscious. I get that cottage cheese is a ‘diet friendly’ food hardly anyone ever talks about. And I get that most people buy the non-fat kind.

But ladies and gents, you are missing out. Whole milk cottage cheese isn’t rubbery and bland. It’s creamy, with just a hint of texture. And, it’s the perfect vehicle for this bright and sweet cheery salsa.

Balsamic Cherry ‘Salsa’

Inspired by Cooking Light

Go the extra step and get shallots – even if it means you have to go to the store. Other onions will be too potent. You’ll also want to get a cherry pitter if you don’t have one. I bought mine at the dollar store in college for $.59.

The cherries really shine here, so you want the ripest ones you can get. Keep an eye out for cherry stands along the road. This is my favorite place to score a pound or two. If you want more spice, skip seeding the jalapeno and just let that baby burst with sweet heat. Finally, I strongly recommend wearing an apron while pitting your cherries. The juice stains!

2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
1 medium shallot, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. Serve on top of a whole milk cottage cheese. Can be made up to 1 week in advance. The longer it sits, the more the flavors will intensify. I like it best on day 2.






About Mikaela Cowles

I’m a food-gobbling, book-reading, aspiring photog. Born and raised in Seattle, I love dancing in the rain, bouquets of fresh basil and green grass between my toes. I like how kneading butter into flour makes my fingers soft. I’m passionate about all things sweet potato. I prefer my coffee black, my scotch on the rocks and my steak bloody. I hunt, when I have time; play basketball; and hike. I’ve been known to laugh so hard I hyperventilate. And, I’m the owner of Making Language Count, a boutique freelance writing business.

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2 thoughts on “Balsamic Cherry ‘Salsa’

  • Sharla Ng

    Hello Mikaela!
    We feel often feel like steamed dumplings in this South Korean heat. Wai is out watching a professional baseball game with colleagues this evening. I’m home with the kids thinking about trying this beautiful balsalmic cherry salsa recipie . . . if I can find cottage cheese in the local markets. Will frozen Costco cherries do, or should I seek out some fresh cherries with the pits and all?
    Cheers,
    Sharla & Wai

    • Mikaela Cowles Post author

      Sharla – Oooo I can imagine! Although, steamed dumplings are delicious 😉 As to cherries, my first inclination is to think frozen ones wouldn’t offer the same texture, but I’ve never tried it. It’s certainly worth a whirl! Can’t wait to hear how it goes and more about your amazing adventures in South Korea!