Once Upon a Cherry Tree

Welcome Aubrie Chaylt, new blogger for the VFTP! This month, Aubrie brings us a look at cherries.

haymarket square cherries-1973 creative commons

haymarket square cherries-1973 creative commons

When I was seventeen years old, my father lived in a house with a massive cherry tree in the front yard. My younger brother and I would scale the tree with buckets in hand to harvest the sweet summer fruit. Even if it doesn’t feel quite like summer yet, summer fruit is in our immediate future. I’m excited for cherries! And you should be too. The Vancouver Tree Fruit Project pickers will be rescuing a sweet and juicy fruit crop otherwise doomed to rot on the ground and redistributing it where there is need in the Vancouver community. Cherries are a low calorie treat with 87 calories per 1 cup with pits and they are a source of dietary fibre as well as vitamin C[i].

HOMEMADE CHERRY JUICE[ii]

Stem, sort and wash your cherries. The more the merrier, more cherries = more cherry juice. I used 6 cups. Drain and pit the little suckers. Crush them, really crush them with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Heat them to 165°F without boiling. Strain the juice. Cool overnight and strain again. To sweeten, add sugar. To add tartness, add lemon juice.

LAMB RIB CHOPS WITH QUICK CHERRY PAN SAUCE[iii]

  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 3/4- to 1-inch-thick lamb rib chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, halved, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup homemade cherry juice!
  • 1 cup halved pitted fresh sweet cherries (about 7 ounces whole unpitted cherries)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided

Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix flour, salt, and pepper on a large plate. Lightly coat your lamb chops with the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Melt butter with oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb chops and cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the chops to a baking sheet and keep warm in oven while preparing sauce (do not clean skillet). Add your onion to the same skillet and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add your cherry juice and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until the liquid is slightly reduced and the onion is slightly softened, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Stir in cherries and half of the basil and cook 1 minute. Season the sauce you’ve just created (you areso amazing) to taste with salt and pepper. Place 2 lamb chops on each of 4 plates and spoon sauce over. Sprinkle remaining basil over and serve.

Aubrie Chaylt

* * * * * * * *

[i] SELF: Nutrition Data, 2011. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1867/2

[ii] Recipe adapted from The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. 10th ed. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2008.

[iii] Recipe adapted from original recipe by Lori Longbotham for Bon Appétit Magazine. June, 2008. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/06/lamb_rib_chops_with_quick_cherry_pan_sauce

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