The Washington Post

Plate Lab: Cherry sambal, fit for any season

(Renee Comet/For The Washington Post)
Deputy Food editor/Recipe editor

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: View Archive

Recipe: Cherry Sambal.

Recipe Finder

Read about the new Washington Post Magazine.

For stories, features such as Date Lab, Gene Weingarten and more, visit WP Magazine.

Follow the Magazine on Twitter.

Like us on Facebook.

E-mail us at



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.