Last night we had friends over for a Fourth of July warm-up dinner party. The hyper-local menu–Grilled Sumac Lamb Chops, Cherry Couscous Salad and Asparagus–was created with the bulk of ingredients sourced in a one-mile radius; easy to pull off at this time of the year in the orchards and farmlands of Northern Michigan.
The day before yesterday, I marinated lamb chops 24 hours (refrigerated) in a mixture of whole milk, plain yogurt, garlic, ground sumac and cinnamon. (I’ll post the recipe after re-proof.)
Then, I made a couscous salad and am particularly excited about the impromptu vinaigrette, which was simply delicious. My secret weapon was cherry juice concentrate. With the acidity and sweet of fresh ripe cherries, it was a flavor bomb in this salad. (Recipe below.)
This vinaigrette would be marvelous in any grain or leafy green salad or a lovely marinade for fowl, pork or lamb. Oh my. This little vinaigrette is an absolute gem.
You don’t have to live in the middle of a cherry orchard–grocery stores across the world carry cherry juice concentrates. Here’s a link to King Orchards, if interested, to purchase the exact concentrate I use. (And no. Uncle Jim and Aunt Sue aren’t the owners and, as always, I receive no compensations for my posts and recommendations on this site, which remains blissfully “ad-free”.)
In the spirit of the season, here are some more cherry-inspired blogs from seasons past to whet your whistle, many of which are perfect for the celebratory Fourth:
Fresh Cherry Goat Cheese Crostini—Cherry Gazpacho—Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce.
Have a happy and safe Fourth, my friends! Some more non-cherry inspired ideas for the holidays: Firecracker Shrimp —Firecracker Flank Steak with Margarita Flavors—Fourth of July Sheet Cake.
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