Picota cherries are a variety of cherry from Jerte, in northern Extremadura, where they have traditionally been cultivated for centuries. They are in season at the moment (between July and august). Picota cherries look a little different from the British cherries you might see in the store as they are harvested with out their stalks, they are a vibrant bright red colour in the out side and pale on the inside. I really love them as they have a really nice flavour. I thought they would go amazingly in a summer salad with some savoury granola croutons and a balsamic reduction. The mixture of the sweet cherries and balsamic reduction goes so well with the saltiness of the goats cheese and savoury granola. I used a sweet lettuce too. I love using fruit in salads and cherries are always one of my favourites to use. I love the savoury granola too, there are so many options for it, you can add nuts, seeds and herbs or even try a red pesto rather than a green one. We wanted it to stick together in clusters so we added an egg white to hold it together so it was a bit like chunks of oat crackers. if you don’t want to use egg you can use a bit more oil.
- 1 and a half cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup corn flour
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 3 tbsp. green pesto
- 1 egg white
- salt and pepper
preheat the oven to 180c mix the oats and seeds in a bowl then add the salt and pepper and flour and the pesto and mix, then add a little egg white at a time until the mixture is wet enough to press on to a baking tray, we all the egg white from one medium egg. bake for 20 minutes then check it and break into pieces and bake for another 10 or 15 until it is golden.
to make the balsamic reduction I added balsamic vinegar and a little brown sugar in a pan and let it simmer until it thickened.
for the salad
- 10/20 picota cherries (use how many you want)
- 1 large sweet lettuce or cob lettuce
- half a cucumber
- baby tomatoes (we used one packet)
- 1 log of soft goats cheese
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
wash and prepare the lettuce and place in the bowl. then cut the tomatoes and cherries and arrange around the lettuce, then cut the cucumber and add to the bowl. next add chunks of goats cheese and granola and some thyme. Add some salt and pepper and then drizzle over with olive oil and the balsamic reduction.