Creamy buttermilk dressing, smoky grilled vegetables and bright little flavor bombs from both pickled cherries and cherry tomatoes: this salad gets summer started off with a bang. Try it paired with Jefferson County Ciderworks’ Hibiscus Rose, which combines lovely floral aromas with dry apple flavors and mild tannins.
Grilled Summer Vegetables with Pickled Cherries and Buttermilk Dressing
Recipe by Executive Chef/Owner Suman Hoque | HoQ Restaurant | Des Moines, IA
1 medium red bell pepper, cored
1 medium zucchini, sliced ¼-inch thick on the bias
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced ¼-inch thick on the bias
Olive oil, for grilling
6 cherry tomatoes, stemmed and sliced in half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 pickled tart cherries (recipe below)
6 cups salad mix, loosely packed
¼ cup buttermilk dressing (recipe below)
Preheat a grill to medium-high (375° F/190° C). Place the pepper directly on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning to blister all sides of the skin; it’s fine if they blacken. Remove the soft, blackened pepper from the grill and place in a paper bag for 5 minutes. Peel off the skin and slice the pepper thinly. Brush both sides of the zucchini and squash slices with olive oil. Grill them on both sides over medium heat until nice grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side.
In a large bowl, toss together the grilled vegetables and sliced tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the pickled cherries and salad mix, then drizzle with the buttermilk dressing and toss gently. Serve at room temperature.
Makes ½ pound pickled cherries
¼ cup salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pickling spice
4 cups water
1 cup red wine vinegar
½ pound fresh pie cherries, pitted
In a medium saucepan set over high heat, combine the salt, sugar, pickling spice and water. Bring to a boil, then add the red wine vinegar and remove from heat. Let the brine cool to room temperature. Place the cherries in a clean jar and cover with brine. Close the jar with a tight-sealing lid, and pickle in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks before using.
Makes about 1½ cups
½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup cultured buttermilk
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and buttermilk. Whisk in the lemon juice, paprika and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe originally ran in Vol. 11 of Cidercraft magazine. For the full article and more like it, click here.