Cherries, Drunken (Boozy) Fruit and Fresh Dill Pasta Salad
The food blogging world has been inundated with Rainier cherry posts and I want to join in the flood. I brought my high-water pants and a canoe. I’m the annoying little sister that wants to tagalong yelling “wait for me!”
Cherries are adorably beautiful. To capture that beauty is fairly easy-they do all the work. Here are some more photos, although, I might have botched that glorious essence with these shots. Owning it, it’s ok. Over 100 pics were taken at this shoot with different lighting, backgrounds, dishes and some cherries were eaten in the making of these photos.
Their sweet flavor is just as wonderful as their adorable yellow/pink/red appearance. I haven’t always been a cherry fan-could’ve been my dad’s influence. He is not one to eat cherry anything but they have been our choice of snack for weeks. Hand me some Rainier, Bing or Black, whatever is on sale. ‘Tis the cherry season.
Every recipe that I came across for cherries ended in a carb-a-licious concoction that made me weep. I said no, little cherries, I won’t do that to you so I ate them without adding a single thing. I refuse to use that awful “life is a bowl of cherries” nonsense. Well, life, I ate all the cherries in that bowl-now what? Wait for more cherries and until then, chin up? No way, I’m going out for more and making fruit salad-boozy fruit salad. I couldn’t wait to share even though I haven’t made it yet.
Making Jungle Juice/Hairy Buffalo/boozy, drunken fruit-all basically the same thing- sounds like a good way to use a few of my precious cherries. The recipe is one where you soak fresh fruit in liqueur/grain alcohol for a few hours and serve. Some versions end up more as punch and some only prepare it for the fruit-it’s up to you. (Either way, it stains.) Here’s a link to Martha Stewart’s recipe.
A great adult, summer treat, similar to sangria but not as “classy,” in my opinion. Cherries, from past boozy fruit experience, have held the most flavor at the end. They pack a punch. There are many ways to make drunken fruit. No matter how, the cherries are always hit on by the plums at the end of the night. Crazy drunk fruit! How do you make it? Have you ever heard of it?
Until then, I want to make another treasured summer dish-pasta salad. This year, I depended on my cucumber salad dressing to toss with the pasta and other ingredients. Good idea, it was a winner. Omit what you want, after the dressing, and substitute ingredients that make your tastebuds sing. If you want to make this as the main dish, add broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and/or peppers. I added tuna but grilled chicken would make a nice addition or no meat, your choice. Clean out your fridge with this one. It’s dill-icious (haha, pay no attention…I’m preparing for the drunken fruit).
Before I forget, if you have a pasta dish that you want highlighted, Fun and Food Cafe is hosting Presto Pasta Night. It’s on its 169th edition! This is my submission. Read more about it at that link.
Fresh Dill Pasta Salad
Serves 4 as side
2 cups dry pasta (tube works well)
1/3 cup onion, chopped
6 to 12 oz. canned tuna or grilled chicken-optional (depends if a side dish or main dish)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
handful of green olives, sliced-optional
½ to 1 whole jalapeno, seeds removed and minced (red pepper flakes work too)
1 large tomato, seeds removed, chopped
dash of paprika (I prefer smoked)
*add other veggies to make as a main dish, such as, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, peppers but be sure to double the dressing
Dressing: (double if adding more veggies)
½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt (Greek preferably)
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 to 3 tbsp cider vinegar (or pickle juice works in a pinch)
2 tsp sugar
1 clove of mashed garlic
6 sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
Cook pasta as directed and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make dressing in a large bowl (everything will end up in this bowl), by whisking the sour cream, mayo, vinegar, sugar, garlic, dill and generously salt and pepper the mix. Taste and add ingredients to your liking. I tend to add more dill. If adding more veggies, double the dressing.
To the dressing, add the onion, tuna/chicken, carrot, olives, jalapeno, and tomato. If you are adding more veggies, toss them in now. Add the pasta and toss everything to combine. Chill for at least 30 minutes. I add the paprika, once it is chilled, to the top. The salad will keep for a few days.