In New England, the picking season for sweet cherries is shorter than most other fruit, lasting only about three weeks. I try to stock up on cherries during this brief time frame until they are gone until next year. I usually just eat the cherries straight out of the bag but this time I wanted to cook them down into a sweet and savory treat that wasn’t a pie, so I decided to make a chutney.
Chutney is a reduction of fruit, vinegar, and sugar. This chutney is versatile and can be used to top a dinner or a dessert. I recommend using it on top of cheesecake or ice cream or stirred into oatmeal or yogurt. The walnuts add a nice, subtle crunch and the rosemary and ginger help to enliven the flavors. The cherries are super high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and melatonin, aiding in better sleep. I used cranberry juice as my added liquid but you can also try substituting orange, apple, or whatever juice you have on hand.
1. In a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the red onion for a minute or two until they brown.
2. Add the cherries, walnuts, rosemary, balsamic, cranberry juice, and brown sugar. Stir well.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often, until it breaks down into a syrupy consistency.
4. Remove from heat. Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
5. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for about a week.