Cherry Vinaigrette

This Cherry Vinaigrette is a standard olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette made with the addition of reduced fresh or frozen cherries, honey, garlic, and a bit of Dijon mustard. It’s the perfect salad dressing for my arugula spinach salad with goat cheese and strawberries or my rainbow salad bowl.

Read on for all the detailed tips and tricks for how to make this cherry balsamic vinaigrette. Or just grab some cherries, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make a cherry salad dressing!

cherry red salad dressing next to small and large bowls of salad.
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Ingredients

cherries, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper.

 

A vinaigrette is typically made with an extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar in a 3 to 1 or 2 to 1 ratio if you like a sharper vinaigrette.

Oil and vinegar by themselves will separate like oil and water, so your salad dressing needs an emulsifier to keep those oil and vinegar molecules interspersed among each other. The mustard, honey, and garlic all provide flavor but also act as emulsifiers.

Cherries provide the final kick of color and flavor. Either fresh or frozen will work, though you may want to add a bit more honey if your cherries aren’t the sweetest.

Do you love cherries? Check out my recipes for cherry ketchup, a Rainier cherry crisp, Cherry Bakewell blondies, or my Cherry Bakewell cocktail!

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • vary the fruit with a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette
  • sub in white white or champagne vinegar for the balsamic.
  • add an herb like basil for a cherry basil balsamic vinaigrette.

Recipe tips and tricks

A cherry pitter is a really handy tool for making the cherry vinaigrette. I would recommend pitting the cherries in the sink (and wearing a dark shirt) in case there is a lot of spatter.

cherry pitter and pits in a colander in the sink

Add the cherries to a small sauce pan with enough water to cover the bottom. You can use frozen cherries in the vinaigrette, but they may be more watery and take longer to cook down.

cherries in a pan

Heat the cherries on low until they have burst and the liquid has thickened so that a spatula drawn across the bottom leaves a trail that lasts for a few seconds. Remove from heat and let cool.

cooked cherries in a small sauce pot with spatula.

If using a food processor, add the garlic first and process until minced. Then add the remaining ingredients except for the olive oil and process until smooth.

Add the olive oil (If using a food processor, add the olive oil through the chute with the processor going) and emulsify. Store your cherry vinaigrette in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator.

bottle of cherry red vinaigrette next to a small and large salad bowl.

Recipe FAQs

How can I use this cherry balsamic vinaigrette?

In addition to a salad dressing, you can also drizzle this vinaigrette over roasted vegetables. Or use it as a marinade for steaks.

How should I store this vinaigrette?

Because of the cherries, this balsamic vinaigrette should be refrigerated. It should keep for one to two weeks.

Check out other salad dressings and salads from the Ugly Duckling Bakery side dish archives, like:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Cherry Vinaigrette

5 from 1 vote
Category: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 59kcal
This Cherry Vinaigrette is a standard olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette made with the addition of reduced fresh or frozen cherries, honey, garlic, and a bit of Dijon mustard. It's the perfect salad dressing for mixed greens salad like my arugula spinach salad with goat cheese and strawberries.
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

Cherry vinaigrette

  • 8 ounces (1½ cups) sweet cherries (about 25 to 30)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped or chopped with the food processor
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Cherry vinaigrette

  • Remove the stems and pit the cherries and then place them in a small saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.
    8 ounces (1½ cups) sweet cherries (about 25 to 30)
  • Heat the cherries on low until they have burst and the liquid has thickened so that a spatula drawn across the bottom leaves a trail that lasts for a few seconds. Remove from heat and let cool briefly.
  • If using a food processor, add the garlic first and process until minced.
    1 clove garlic, chopped or chopped with the food processor
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the olive oil and process until smooth.
    ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • Add the olive oil (If using a food processor, add the olive oil through the chute with the processor going) and emulsify.
    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Notes

This recipe yields about 1 and ¼ cups of cherry vinaigrette or about 20 one-tablespoon servings.
Adjust the sweetness with a little more honey as needed if your cherries are not very sweet.
As with all salads, it’s best to dress your salad prior to serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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