We couldn't believe our eyes when we were at the Napa Farmer's Market this past weekend. There they were - deep ruby globes of juiciness, taunting us to bite into their plump flesh. We asked the farmer, "where did these cherries come from?" He claimed they were local cherries, and yes, it's a little early for cherries, he agreed. Oh, cherries
. One of our favorite summer fruits. We can eat an entire bowl of them in one sitting, and we wish we had cherry trees on our property. Cherries are high in vitamins and fiber, and can be eaten raw, preserved in brandy, baked in a clafoutis, or pitted and juiced. They're easy to prepare (just wash them off, pop in your mouth, spit out the pit, and enjoy!) Get them now while they are in season - the window of availability is short. The most common cherry is the red Bing cherry, though at some markets you may see the reddish-yellow Rainier cherries.
Recipe: Pascha Cheese with Cherries
Heidi's Macerated Berries with Balsamic Two Ways - works just as well with cherries.
How to Find a Pick-Your-Own Strawberries Farm
(Image: Kathryn Hill)