Plate Lab: Cherry sambal, fit for any season


(Renee Comet/For The Washington Post)
Bonnie S. Benwick
Deputy Food editor/Recipe editor April 3

As pink- and white-petaled trees draw thousands to Washington during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, restaurants tempt us with cherry-infused everything. The fruit’s real season is summer, of course, so chefs in the Passion Food Hospitality group rely on 1,600 pounds of maraschino cherries made in-house; they’re nothing like the bright-red supermarket kind. DC Coast executive chef Miles Vaden has dipped into the stock to create a condiment that’s tart, spicy and all too easy to eat by the spoonful. You’ll want to shovel it alongside roast chicken and stir it into vinaigrettes.

Both the maraschino cherries and this recipe can be canned for long-term storage. You don’t have to wait till fresh cherries arrive; frozen fruit makes a worthy substitute.

Bonnie S. Benwick has the job most envied among cocktail-party conversations. If they only knew ... Cook with her each week at Dinner in Minutes: washingtonpost.com/recipes. View Archive

Recipe: Cherry Sambal.

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