If you haven't tried grilled fruit yet, now is the time to do it! On their own, fruit and grilling are so quintessentially summer. Put together, they may be an unexpected combination, but that marriage is actually pretty amazing. Like salted caramel, the savory/sweet combo wins out once again. This dish, a play on traditional berries and cream, is simple enough for a backyard barbecue and sophisticated enough for a fancy garden party. I love the cherries, but feel free to substitute all kinds of fruit according to your taste: grilled mango is amazing if you're looking for a little tropical flair! I grilled my cherries over the stove, because I'm not very grill-savvy. But if you know your way around a grill, then by all means, go for it!

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Grilled Cherries and Vanilla Bean Walnut Cream [Vegan]

Ingredients

Grilled Cherries
  • Several cups of cherries (according to your desired yield), pitted and sliced in half
  • Coconut oil
Walnut Cream
  • 2 cups walnut halves and pieces, soaked for at least half an hour
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • non-dairy milk, as needed
  • preferred sweetener to taste
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Preparation

  1. Heat a bit of coconut oil (1-2 tsp should be enough) in a heavy skillet with grill ridges over medium- medium/high heat.
  2. Once the oil begins to sizzle, add the cherries and let cook for a few minutes.
  3. Once the tops begin to soften, use a spatula to "flip" them the best you can, basically stirring to be sure they grill on all sides.
  4. Once the cherries are softened (but still somewhat hold their shape) and are slightly charred, remove from heat, and serve with the walnut cream. These are best when served immediately.
  5. For the walnut cream, drain the walnut pieces and add to a food processor or blender. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the insides to the walnuts. Add a couple of tbsp of non-dairy milk and begin to blend, adding more liquid until you reach your desired smoothness and consistency. Add sweetener to taste.


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