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I love food. I love the freedom it gives me, as an artist, to express myself and try new and unusual things. A majority of my recipes commonly stem from an idea while I’m shopping, after seeing an item that inspires me. This past week, that food item was these luscious, organic cherries I found at whole foods in Detroit. I immediately thought cherries and almonds and was hooked from there.

 

I knew that I was also in the mood to cook with fish so I picked up some fresh Icelandic cod to use as my protein. Icelandic things continue to inspire me and constantly remind me of my trip there so I like to buy them whenever I can. I then invited my mother and father over for dinner. When I told my mom my idea for a cherry basil sauce she sounded uninterested and I suppose at first thought, a savory cherry sauce might be a bit off putting for some. I decided to give it a whirl anyway. I was determined!

 

Cherry Basil Almond Sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic chopped small
1 cup of cherries, halved and pitted
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dry white wine, I’m using black box Chardonnay
1/2 cup almonds, slivered
1 tablespoon flour
2 tbs butter
fresh cracked salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. In a shallow pan on low/medium heat melt butter and chopped garlic together until garlic is golden brown. Mix in the chopped cherries, basil, wine, and flour, while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste then cover and reduce heat to low and reduce for 25- 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While sauce is reducing preheat a smaller frying pan on low heat. Slowly add in the slivered almonds and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Add a dash of salt for taste. Once roasted, set almonds aside. You will use them to top your dish.
  3. Cook whichever protein you desire to perfection and reheat cherry sauce if needed. Drizzle over top. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over the dish and garnish with a basil leaf.
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A note for another time, if you’d like a more intense flavor cut an additional cup of cherries and use them to help marinade your protein for 1- 2 hours prior to cooking. This sauce would also be delightful on chicken! Experiment! That’s what cooking is all about!