A dish layered with aphrodisiacs
Although some studies show that the scent of cherries is not favored by women, the general consensus on cherries is that these crimson fruits of summer are aphrodisiac. Sweet, with the faintest tart bite, cherries can make a wonderful companion to many foods, not to mention wine. Here, cookbook author Jill Silverman Hough presents wine-soaked cherries as an accompaniment to medium-sharp cheddar cheese.
The recipe comes from her book, 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love. As the book’s title implies, this is a recipe designed for pairing with wine. Cherries and red wine are among our favorite aphrodisiacs. (In fact, our Editor-in-Chief, aphrodisiac foods expert Amy Reiley refers to cherry as the food world’s sex symbol.) With all this in mind, we feel this recipe will make a surefire gateway to romance.
Make it in advance
The recipe is one built in simplicity. You just make the wine-soaked cherries a few days in advance and head to a cheesemonger for a quality slab of white cheddar. Then pack yourself a picnic or pencil in a little afternoon delight at home. Oh, and don’t forget a musky bottle of Merlot.
- 1/3 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp herbes de Provence see below
- 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
- 2/3 cup dried Bing or other sweet not tart dried cherries, coarsely chopped
- 8 oz medium-sharp white Cheddar cheese
- Whole wheat crackers for serving
In a medium glass or stain-resistant plastic container, combine the wine, olive oil, vinegar, herbes de Provence, and salt, whisking to dissolve the salt.
Add the cherries, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 days, stirring occasionally. (You can refrigerate the cherry mixture for up to a week, stirring occasionally.)
Place the cheese on a platter and let it and the cherry mixture come to room temperature. Spoon the cherry mixture over and around the cheese.
Serve with the crackers on the side.
Note: Herbes de Provence is a wonderful mixture of dried herbs evocative of southern France. Most blends include basil, rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme, and lavender. Herbes de Provence is available in the spice section of most major supermarkets and specialty food stores. It’s often packaged in a small clay crock. Besides using it in this recipe, you can use Herbes de Provence sprinkled on roasting poultry, pork, and lamb and stirred into a summer tomato pasta.
Love this recipe? Get the book! Order your copy of 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love
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