Have you tried making vinaigrettes with fresh fruit? If not, you need to! Cherry vinaigrette is a tart and sweet dressing that is perfect for salads or as a marinade. The acidity of the vinegar cuts through the richness of the cherries and the sweetness of the honey brings out their natural flavor.
Let me teach you How To Make Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette. I promise you will be making it over and over.
Cherry vinaigrette is the ultimate fresh fruit dressing to elevate your crisp summer salads. The sweet cherries mixed with the savory oil, vinegar, and seasonings meld into a river of savory goodness that echoes the brightness of summer.
Sweet cherry vinaigrette is a simple, no-hassle recipe with a complex flavor. This will be a go-to dressing recipe that you can easily customize with the modifications that speak to you.
What Makes This Cherry Vinaigrette So Good?
It's fresh- If you have not tried fresh cherries in a salad dressing you are in for a real treat. I used to make Blueberry Vinaigrette all the time, but this cherry vinaigrette has replaced it as my favorite salad dressing.
It's flavorful- The flavor of this cherry dressing is amazing. Fresh Cherries+olive oil+balsamic vinegar is a dream team. It creates a creamy, delicious, and slightly sweet vinaigrette that also makes a lovely marinade.
It's easy- This cherry vinaigrette is really easy to make. If you are a person who generally buys your dressing, you will be surprised at just how simple this is. Pitting the cherries takes the longest.
It's versatile- This dressing goes well on so many salads. Try it on my Simple Strawberry Basil Salad for an extra burst of fruity flavor. I love adding different summer fruits to my salad and this vinaigrette is perfect for all of these!
If cherries are your thing, let me suggest a few other recipes to use those sweet cherries!
- Fresh Cherries- I prefer sweet cherries for this dressing. You can also use tart cherries, but you just might need to sweeten the dressing a little more.
You'll need to use pitted cherries for this recipe. If you have a cherry pitter, use it. If not, cut the cherries in half, twist them, and take out the pit.
Just be sure to use fresh cherries for this cherry vinaigrette recipe, not canned.
- Olive Oil- This is not cooked, so use a good quality olive oil, if you have it.
- White Balsamic Vinegar- You can also use a white wine or red wine vinegar, but white balsamic is the best. I used a lemon white balsamic, which I love!
- Dijon Mustard- You use this not only for the flavor it adds, but also to work as an emulsifier. What that means is it helps the olive oil and vinegar to blend together easily instead of separating.
- Honey- I used this to keep it healthy. If you prefer another sweetener, go for it!
- Salt- It won't take much, but you will need this. Salt helps bring out natural flavor and cut through the sweetness to leave you with a delicious cherry flavor.
How To Make Cherry Vinaigrette
When I said this cherry vinaigrette was easy to make, I meant it was really easy. It's bursting with summer flavor and hardly takes any time to prepare.
- First, you'll need to prep the cherries, this is the hardest part. You'll want to rinse the cherries, then pit them. You can do this manually with a knife or use a cherry pitter.
- Add the cherries to a food processor. Then, add the remaining ingredients.
- Blend on high until the cherry vinaigrette is smooth and the cherries are broken up. This might take 1-2 minutes.
- Once it is done, taste it. Adjust your salt and honey as needed. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to dressing. Maybe you like it a little more salty, or a little sweeter.
What Exactly Is A Vinaigrette?
It is a sauce made with a base of olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings. It's easily customized which makes it perfect for salads.
Vinaigrettes are the perfect balance of sweetness and tart. It has an oil base with a hint of acid that brightens whatever meal it touches.
It can be a flavorful marinade or a delicious topping to grilled chicken.
There are so many different types of vinaigrettes to choose from. I love fruit vinaigrettes like this sweet cherry one during the summer, during cherry season.
This salad dressing tastes delicious over a bed of greens with your favorite fresh produce such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and even sliced almonds.
Are Vinaigrettes Healthy?
If you are asking my personal opinion, I say, yes!!
Olive oil is traditionally considered a healthier oil than vegetable oil. This is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It not only tastes great but due to its processing, it can also retain nutrients better than an excessively processed oil.
Virgin and extra virgin olive oil, specifically, use less heat in processing. This allows the oil to retain more of its natural benefits.
I also generally prefer to use honey or even maple syrup for my salad dressings. This leaves refined sugar out of the picture.
When choosing a honey or maple syrup, look for the 100% pure versions. You may pay a bit of a premium, but choosing pure ingredients is well worth the price.
Not only is the taste incomparably better, but you also avoid products that use filler and corn syrup instead of the actual honey and maple syrup you want to flavor this recipe.
What Is White Balsamic Vinegar?
White balsamic vinegar starts the same way as dark balsamic- with grapes and lots of them. The whole grape, including skin, seeds, and juice is crushed and processed together.
But the cooking stage is where the two kinds of vinegar take separate paths. White balsamic is pressure cooked to maintain the light color, while traditional balsamic is simmered for a long period of time until it becomes a thick, caramelized syrup.
White balsamic is also aged for a shorter time, instead of the longer aging darker balsamic takes.
My favorite infused flavors are peach and lemon. If you have a local olive oil and vinegar tasting room, I recommend you try them! If you don't, The Milled Olive is my go-to for vinegar and olive oil in my area. They ship too!
This recipe should be enjoyed within 2-3 days because of the fresh fruit. Store it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to use it. Alternatively, you can always whip up a fresh batch since it's such a quick recipe.
This depends on your taste. I only increase it by about 1-2 tablespoons if I'm not using sweet cherries. The best thing to do is taste it as you go, letting it sit for a few minutes before deciding whether or not to stir in more honey.
You can swap out the fresh fruit in this cherry vinaigrette and get creative with whatever inspires you. I have used many berries before in these dressings. Blueberry is a favorite of mine, but raspberry and blackberry are also really yummy.
How To Make Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette
- 1 cup pitted cherries
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- ¼ cup honey
- salt to taste
- Add all ingredients, starting with ½ teaspoon of salt to a food processor or blender.
- Blend until it is smooth.
- Taste and add more salt or honey to your taste.
- This dressing is best used within about 12 hours.
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!