Pickled Cherries Make Your Simple Summer Salad Pop

Spicy arugula and creamy goat cheese round out this perfectly paired dish.

With summer in full swing, we’re celebrating one of our favorite fruits: cherries. We’ve partnered with Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt to bring you fresh recipes, ideas, and cooking tips.

Pickled cucumbers? Who doesn’t love them. But pickled fruit is another thing. If you’ve never tried pickling sweet fruit in the height of the summer season, now is the time. There is life beyond the classic dill cucumber pickle, and these pickled cherries will make you a believer.



Quickly bring your pickling mixture to a boil on the Min-2-Max gas burner.

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Pickled fruit is a great way to preserve the summer harvest if you’ve grown tired of jam. They look stunning on a cheese plate, make a great cocktail garnish, and in the case of this recipe, add a lively brightness and stunning adornment to a simple salad. This method of pickling plays up their sweetness; the vinegar is balanced with a bit of sugar, and licorice-tinged fennel seeds and star anise add another dimension of flavor.

Arugula is always a good salad green when you don’t want to fuss with mixing up a complicated salad dressing. The peppery leaves need little more than grassy olive oil and a bright vinegar pop. Here the vinegar comes with a bit of sweetness by way of an aged balsamic, and the seedy topping adds a flavorful crunch.

Serve this salad alongside grilled chicken or steak. Alternatively, enjoy it with a simple, crusty loaf of bread, good butter and a glass of Rosé. 

Pickled Cherry and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

It’s a simple yet unexpected salad that is perfect for summer.” – Ashley

Servings: 4



Pickled cherries:

1 cup champagne or apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 star anise

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Rosemary sprig

1 pound cherries


For the salad:

4 - 6 cups arugula leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

2 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre)

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon nigella seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon flake salt

1 cup pickled cherries


For the pickles:

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, water, sugar, fennel seeds, star anise, salt and rosemary sprigs. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat so that it just gently simmers, then add the cherries. Simmer the cherries in the brine for just a minute or two then turn off the heat.

Transfer the cherries to a large jar (or divide them between a few) and cover them with the brine. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, but refrigerating overnight or even a few days is best to really get the pickled flavor deep into the cherries.


Assembling the salad:

Add the arugula to a large bowl then gently toss the greens with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Dot the top of the salad with pieces of goat cheese.

Combine the poppy, sesame, nigella, fennel, and cumin seeds along with the salt. Sprinkle about 1/3 of this all over the salad. Reserve some for the final plates.

Finish the salad by adding the pickled cherries. 

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