This Rosemary Cherry Compote is what you should make with all those beautiful fresh cherries. Cherries, rosemary, sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. It goes well in both savory and sweet dishes!
The past weekend, we were in Washington State visiting my cousin Mandy and her husband Robbie. They took us cherry picking. I have been wanting to pick cherries for a while. The only problem is that cherry season is very short in California, just about 1 month. We were supposed to go 2 weeks ago in Los Angeles, but the farm was unexpectedly closed on that day. I was very disappointed and thought I may not have a chance to go this year. But luckily, I got to pick cherries after all, and even better in Yakima.
There were lots of cherries on the tree. The trees are not tall at all as imagined. We can easily reach the cherries without any ladder. They have two varieties, rainier and bing. We got a little bit of both. It took us less than 20 minutes to pick 3 pounds. We ate some at the hotel and brought the rest home. The cherries were so fresh and firm that they hold up really well on the plane.
When I got home, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the cherries. This compote has been on my mind for a while. It’s easy to make and it can be used with many different things. It’s also a great way to extend the life of fresh cherries.
First, pit the cherries. Then combine with sugar, and rosemary. Cook until cherries are softened. Transfer the cherries to a bowl, but continue to reduce the liquid until thickened. Add the liquid back to the cherries. Stir in balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. So simple! It’s sweet, but savory and earthy. Perfect with pork chop, sandwiches, cheese platter, ice cream, yogurt, cake and many more. It also make a great homemade gift too!
Next week, I will share an appetizer recipe that uses this compote. Stay tuned!
Rosemary Cherry Compote
- 1 pound fresh cherries (stem removed, pitted & keep whole)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (minced)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 pinches salt (about 1/16 teaspoon)
- Dash ground black pepper
- Place the pitted cherries in a medium pot. Add rosemary and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and cook for 12 minutes, stirring one or two times.
- Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes or until the cherries are softened and the outside look a bit wrinkle. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a medium heatproof bowl. Continue to reduce the juice until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the juice to the bowl with the cherries. Stir in vinegar, salt & black pepper. Taste and adjust. Let it cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- I used about ½ pound of rainier cherries and ½ pound of bing cherries in this recipe. I used two types just because that was what we picked from the farm. You can just use one type. Rainier is sweeter, so you may want to reduce a little bit of sugar.
- When pitting cherries, try to keep the cherries whole. The compote looks better with whole cherries. But if you can’t, keep them halved.
- To quickly remove cherry pits without a cherry pitter, lay a cherry on its side on a chopping board and squeeze down slightly with your palm. Place a rounded pastry tip on the chopping board. Hold the cherry stem side down and over the pastry tip. Press down firmly and the pit should pop out. It looks like this.
- This compote is very versatile. It can be used in savory dishes, like sandwiches, pork chop & chicken liver pate, but it’s also good with sweet dishes, like yogurt, panna cotta & ice cream.
- The compote can be kept for about 2 weeks in the fridge.