Recipe: Light and refreshing cherry chipotle salad

I like tart cherries in cherry pie and cherry cobbler, but wanted to see if I could find any uses for them that are not a sweet dessert. So when I stumbled across a recipe for a salad made with tart canned cherries, I decided to try it (with some variations).

This recipe is mostly based on the “Chipotle Cherry and Black Bean Slaw” recipe which is at the recipes section for Oregon Fruit.  (Or perhaps that should be OregoN Fruit?)

This recipe turned out really good. But also a bit unusual. Of the five people who have tried it so far (including myself), one loved it right away and the other four said “Wow . . . different, but not bad.” and then a couple minutes later all four said “You know, that was actually really good, I want some more!!”

For all the strongly flavored ingredients in it, it’s actually a very mild-tasting salad, light and refreshing.

Light and Refreshing Cherry Chipotle Salad

  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chopped spring mix salad
  • 1 bag (10 oz) confetti coleslaw (confetti coleslaw is a mixture of shredded cabbage, broccoli stems and carrots; 10 oz of finely sliced cabbge should also work fine)
  • 1/4 cup snipped mint
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts both, finely sliced
  • 1 can (approx 15 oz) OregoN Fruit Red Tart Cherries, drained
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons honey

In a large or medium-large bowl, combine the beans, mint, green onions, coleslaw, and chopped salad. Add the cherries, but don’t stir the cherries in yet.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice, chopped chipotle pepper, chopped garlic, ground cinnamon and honey to make the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the top of the cherries and the salad, gently fold and/or toss until dressing and cherries are evenly distributed throughout the salad.

Will keep one day in the refrigerator.

NOTES FOR FUTURE VARIATIONS: Some ideas I have that I want to try with this salad.

– Use chopped baby aragula instead of spring mix. Aragula seems to be a green with a fairly long refrigerator life span, and I think the salad might keep a day or two longer if I used aragula instead of spring mix.

– Use finely chopped cabbage instead of finely shredded slaw. In other words, have small pieces of cabbage instead of the long thin pieces in slaw. And while the confetti slaw mix with cabbage and broccoli and carrots was good, I think next time I’ll just use straight cabbage.

– Increase the amount of green onions.

– Substitute chipotle chili powder of the chopped canned chipotle chili. I don’t use canned chipotle chilis much, but I use the chipotle chili powder frequently, and it keeps better once opened.

– Eliminate the mayonnaise and substitute either more oil, more lime juice, or some type of vinegar. Mayonnaise itself is just oil with an emulsifier whipped up until it is thick, and I wasn’t able to get it to mix smoothly with the other ingredients when I was trying to make the dressing.

-Possibly increase either the amount of cherries or the amount of beans or both.

– Possibly add a meat to the salad to make a one-dish meal. I think fish would go well with this, and Mom suggested chicken or pork as well.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Light and refreshing cherry chipotle salad

    • No, I didn’t seed it. I’d never actually used a canned chipotle peper in adobo sauce before (although I’ve used dried ground chipotle chili powder plenty of times), so wasn’t sure what to expect. I just chopped it up fine, seeds and all, and mixed it into the dressing.

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