We seem to constantly combine cherries and olives in dishes so we decided to take them to the next level. Our initial foray was with this relish:
510g bing cherries pitted
240g salt cured black olives pitted
100g brown sugar
Put the olives in pot. Cover with 2000g cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, turn off the heat and strain the olives. Rinse the olives under cold running water and let drain in a fine mesh strainer. Once all of the liquid has run off, mix them with the pitted cherries and reserve.
Combine the brown sugar, water and glucose in a pot set over medium heat and cook until a dark caramel forms, 195°C. Make sure the sugar does not burn. Remove from heat and gently add the olives and cherries. Be careful because the sugar will spatter in a molten eruption. Stir in the salt and continue to cook over medium heat until the olives and cherries cook down to a thick, sticky mixture and begin to look almost identical, about an hour. When the mixture is finished cooking, spread it on a sheet pan or shallow baking dish to cool quickly and then store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Recently we adapted our cranberry tapenade to a summer version using fresh cherries and jalapenos.
350 grams/12.3 ounces pitted cherries
410 grams/14.5 ounces assorted pitted green and black olives
50 grams/1.75 ounces sliced jalapenos with seeds
50 grams/1.75 ounces anchovies in oil
100 grams/3.5 ounces ketchup
60 grams/2.1 ounces sherry vinegar
100 grams/ 3.5 ounces maple syrup
Combine the cherries, olives, jalapenos and anchovies with their oil in a bowl. Mix to combine and then grind once through the meat grinder with a ¼-inch die or pulse in a food processor until the mixture is coarsely ground. Put the ground cherry mixture into a pot with the ketchup, sherry vinegar and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer over high heat and then turn it down to medium and cook until it is thick and resembles marmalade. Remove from the heat and cool. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
As the idea continues to evolve we have begun making cherry olives. We combine pitted cherries with green olive brine, citrus juice and zests, garlic, smoked paprika and olive oil. The ingredients are mixed together and then vacuum sealed to combine the flavors and draw the marinade into the cherries. What we do with them has yet to be seen.