If you can imagine the sweet and tart perfume of fresh cherries, just multiply that thought by a dozen or more factors and you'll have an idea of the most perfectly cherry-like of aromas that is obtained by cooking dried sour cherries. And if that isn't reason enough to add this very unusual Turkish sour cherry pilaf to your next Middle Eastern themed summer menu, try imagining the warm tangy flavor of caraway seeds combined with the tart but refreshing sourness of cherries and the soft butteriness of perfectly cooked white basmati rice…
…it's like nothing else than a light and fluffy, slightly sweet but mostly savory dinner cake spooned into the most astonishing little morsels on your plate. If this picture sounds inadequate it's because this dish pretty much exhausts my powers of description. But don't let that stop you — this rice, adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest, is a perfect accompaniment to any light and garlicky Mediterranean summer meal, like the Turkish yogurt hummus I served with fresh vegetables.
Look for dried sour cherries — also known as Morello cherries — in most large grocery stores and in natural food stores. Readers in London, Ontario can obtain them at Quarter Master in Wortley Village.
|Turkish Sour Cherry Pilaf|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine
Published on August 11, 2008
Simple and uniquely delicious white rice pilaf cooked with tart dried cherries and seasoned with warm aromatic caraway seeds