Northwest Cherries!

by Melissa Trainer

NW Sweet cherry and rhubarb tart.jpg

I've been researching and writing about Northwest Cherries recently. Over the winter, I stocked my freezer with bags of frozen sweet cherries.

The frozen cherries, along with berries, juice, wheat germ and ground flax seed, were tossed into early morning smoothies. I can't even begin to count the number of bags that we have devoured since January. Even though we don't have any exact proof, we are quite certain that these power packed cherry laden smoothies played a key role in battling those midwinter sniffles and sneezes.

This morning, I zipped open a new bag of frozen pitted sweet cherries and decided to take a different tact. I grabbed some big fat rhubarb stalks from the garden and started crafting off the cuff. Shortly thereafter, I had a simple NW Sweet Cherry and Rhubarb compote on my hands. It proved divine when ladled over a bowl of thick rich Greek yogurt. I then decided to push the envelope further. I made a quick cream cheese pastry and tossed the compote with diced apples. I had a free form cherry and rhubarb tart in mind. That came together quickly and the results are shown in my photo.

So, even though Northwest Cherry season doesn't start until July when the cherries are plucked from laden trees, I am having fun working with frozen NW Cherries. They are shelf stable. And, because they are sold pitted, they are extraordinarily convenient.

For more information on sweet cherries, check out NW Cherries. Additional information will be posted on that site as the 2013 NW Cherry season unfolds before our eyes!