I love the flavors of summer, which include mint and fresh cherries. I’d never thought of putting them together until I noticed them sitting together on my counter one day, looking pretty. I needed a vinaigrette for a salad, so I thought, why not?
As it turns out, mint and cherry aren’t instant friends. They need a little urging to connect, in the form of stevia and lemon. The mint and cherry flavors blend too easily, but the sweetness of stevia and the sour of lemon snap them apart, making a light summery vinaigrette.
I use canola oil for this vinaigrette, but a lighter olive oil or avocado oil should work fine too. I also add water, which I don’t always include in salad dressings. In this case, I didn’t want the light flavors to be bogged down in a heavy oil.
You’ll need a blender to make this vinaigrette, but don’t over blend. A food processor will work also. You put the mint in last, and pulse until the mint is chopped, but not pulverized. The green mint leaves look pretty and add textured pops of minty flavor to the vinaigrette.
I like to peel lemons when I’m putting them in the blender, instead of squeezing them. I hate throwing away all that lemon pulp, but some will find the pulp slightly bitter. You decide which you prefer. If you’re blending the whole peeled lemon, you’ll need to cut the lemons in half and dig out all the seeds with a pointed knife. Sometimes the seeds hide, so search carefully. The seeds are safe to eat, but can add grittiness, and who wants that?
Store this vinaigrette in the fridge for up to three days. If you want to keep it longer, you’ll need to freeze it. I divide it into small condiment containers (yes, I know, I save them when I get takeout) and freeze the small containers inside zip-top bags. Whenever you want vinaigrette, defrost just what you need.
Mint and cherry combine with lemon and stevia in this light, summer vinaigrette. Us it on salads or as a marinade.
- 3/4 cup fresh cherries, pits removed
- 1 small lemon, seeds removed and juiced or peeled
- 1 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 3-4 tablespoons apple cider (or other sweet) vinegar, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1/4-1/2 cup filtered water
- 1/4 cup organic canola oil (or light olive oil or avocado oil)
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, tightly packed
Place the cherries, lemon, stevia, vinegar, salt and 1/4 cup water into a blender.
Blend until smooth.
With the blender on its lowest speed, pour in the oil in a slow stream.
Add the mint, and pulse until the mint is chopped into small pieces, but not pulverized.
Adjust the salt and vinegar to taste.
Add more water to thin the vinaigrette, to taste.
Store, covered, in the fridge for up to three days.
Freeze in small containers for up to three months.
Pit cherries by cutting the cherry in half, and then in half again. The stone should drop out. Use about 3/4 cup of fresh cherries in this recipe, more if you want a stronger cherry flavor.
Cut the lemon in half and pry out the seeds. You have to dig for them because they hide. Peel each half.
I use peeled lemons, but you can juice them if you prefer. The pulp can be bitter.
Add apple cider vinegar or another sweet, light vinegar, like rice vinegar. Adjust the sweetener to adapt to the tartness of the vinegar.
I use a cup of packed mint leaves. Use more for a mintier vinaigrette.
Blend all ingredients except oil and mint in a blender. With the blender on its lowest speed, slowly pour in the oil. Toss in the mint, and pulse until the mint is chopped, but not pulverized. Store in the fridge for up to three days or freeze in small containers.
Pour the vinaigrette over salads, or use as a marinade for pork or chicken.