I suppose most of us have missed out on the best cherries, the ones that grow in the backyard. Still, when cherries are good — juicy, fleshy, even crisp — even the supermarket variety can be irresistible. So I buy them by the sack, mostly for snacks.
In June, it becomes impossible not to cook with them. Like most stone fruit, cherries are usually slated for pies, cobblers — maybe duck breasts — and not much else. To give cherries their due, here’s a whole meal made out of them — sort of. I’ve dished up four cherry-based courses, and the first is a boozy cocktail, pretty much rendering the next three enjoyable no matter what. You are certainly under no obligation to prepare them all on the same evening, but they’re different enough that it works.
Read the rest of this column and get the recipes here.