The Cherry Marketing Institute asked me to create and photograph two recipes using sets of nutritionist-recommended ingredients, including cherries of course–one set for pre- and post-workout and another for calming/numbing. (For larger versions of the images, as well as other samples, visit my food photography page.)
Warm Salmon, Cherry, and Arugula Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
6 cups loosely packed arugula (about 3 ounces)
1/2 small head radicchio, cored and shredded
4 salmon fillets, about 3/4-inch thick
3 shallots, sliced
1/2 large jalapeno (halved lengthwise), seeded and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups thawed frozen tart cherries
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup tart cherry juice
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, turmeric, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the arugula and radicchio and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste and divide mixture among serving plates. Set aside.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the salmon and cook until barely opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Arrange the salmon on top of the salads.
Return the skillet to medium heat, add the shallots and chile, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cherries and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Add the cherry juice, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, scraping up any browned bits in the skillet, until the juice is almost entirely evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the cherry mixture over the salmon and serve.
A light soup would be a nice accompaniment to this entrée salad—potato leek soup in the winter, for example, or cold cucumber soup in the summer. If you like, serve some bread along side. To vary the recipe, substitute swordfish, halibut, or a chicken breast for the salmon.
PB and C Muffins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Sunflower, safflower, or other neutral-flavored high-heat cooking oil or high-temperature nonstick spray
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly coat 12 muffin cups with the oil or spray and set aside.
Spread the oats out on a large rimmed baking sheet and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly (leave the oven on).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, butter, peanut butter, honey, and eggs. Add the flour mixture, stirring until almost combined. Add the oats and cherries, stirring until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin cups and bake until a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out almost entirely clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Enjoy these muffins for breakfast—they go great with coffee or tea—but also for an on-the-go or before- or after-workout snack. To mix things up, try using almond or cashew butter instead of the peanut butter.