February Kitchen Play: salmon and tart cherries, together at last

You may have already read about my love affair with cherries here (and if you haven’t, you should – there’s a cocktail recipe involved).   Yesterday, as part of the Kitchen Play Progressive Party, sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute, I decided to put my spin on the Honey-Tart Cherry Glazed Salmon with Rustic Cherry Salsa – or in my case, with a tart cherry relish.

I have stared at the word “relish” for too long, these past couple of days.  It’s starting to look and sound weird.  But it sure tastes good.


I knew right from the start that I probably wasn’t going to make the original salsa, because raw onions do a number on my digestive system.  I liked Sarah’s idea of contrasting the sweet salmon with something sour, sweet, and spicy, though.  I knew what I was going to do with the cherries before I started, but I had no idea what to call it.  It wasn’t really a compote or a chutney.   It wasn’t merely a “sauce.”  After staring at my recipe bookmarks for awhile, I finally realized that what I had in mind could be classified as a relish, and having assuaged my compulsive need to be correct, it was time to cook.

Spicy Tart Cherry Relish

  • 1/4 c cherry juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup tart cherries, chopped (I used a jarred variety; if yours are more sour than sweet, add more honey)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 3-4 healthy shakes of cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
  • orange zest

Combine all ingredients except orange zest in small heavy pot.  Over medium heat, bring the ingredients to a boil.  Turn the heat down and simmer until the cherries have collapsed and the liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 15 minutes.  Add orange zest to taste.  Allow to cool.

Honey/Tart Cherry Glazed Salmon

  • 1/4 c cherry juice
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 pound of salmon, divided into 4 pieces

Preheat oven to 350 and place salmon on foil-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, combine and microwave the cherry juice and honey in a large glass measuring cup for about 4 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.  Brush half of the glaze over the salmon, cook at 350 for 15 minutes (more, if necessary – mine took about 20) until salmon is opaque.  Brush the remaining glaze over the salmon, and serve alongside the spicy cherry relish.


4 responses to “February Kitchen Play: salmon and tart cherries, together at last

  1. I think that you should serve this for my birthday dinner this year, along with the seared ahi that you made for the last birthday celebration 🙂 Oh, and I want more of the prosciutto cups with the goat cheese and apple slices as hors’d’oevres 🙂 Thx 🙂

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