Cherry season is quickly coming to an end, and even at the feasibile price of 6€/kilo at the supermarket, the only way we’re eating them now is fresh. I had great fun cooking with them earlier in June when we picked up several kilos on the cheap, and I have to say that a freshly baked sweet cherry pie is the best thing to come out of the oven since summer began.
Martha Stewart’s recipe should be doubled for deep dish pie tins.
This idea is an offshoot from the pancetta-wrapped asparagus with strawberry sauce. Cooking pitted cherries with a small amount of sugar (1 Tbsp to 1 pound of fruit) and a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary makes a savory/sweet sauce that goes great with bacon or pancetta-wrapped asparagus.
The idea of adding cherries to risotto was completely foreign to me until we tried some at a cherry sagra in Piemonte. It was okay as festival fare but what it all boiled down to was plain risotto (risotto bianco) with bits of cherry. It tasted kind of sweet and I didn’t care for the pinkish tinge. After some experimenting, I came up with the ultimate risotto: sweet-savory cherry sauce swirled into plain risotto and garnished with small slices of lardo. The lardo melts into an unctuous richness onto the rice, rendering it wonderfully creamy and adding depth to the overall flavor. Turn a blind eye to the calories and cholesterol – this is so good that I’ll be sharing the recipe.