Rachel Khoo's summer salad with feta and pickled cherries

Cherries are perfect for pickling and have a sweet note that pairs perfectly with melon, courgette and salty feta for a surprisingly refreshing summer salad.

Serves 4 as a starter
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Cooling time: 30 mins
 
Ingredients
* 1 medium courgette, stalk removed
* 1/2 firm cantaloupe melon, skin and seeds removed
* 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil pinch of sea salt
* small handful of mint leaves
* 100g feta

For the pickled cherries: 
* 50ml red wine vinegar
* 1 tbsp sea salt
* 150ml water
* 100g caster sugar
* 200g cherries, halved and stones removed

Method 
1. Place the red wine vinegar, salt, water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes, stirring to make sure all the salt and sugar has dissolved.

2. Take off the heat, pour into a bowl or container and leave to cool for five minutes. Add the cherries and leave to cool to room temperature. If making ahead of time, place in the fridge to chill.
 
3. Use a speed peeler or mandolin to make ribbons along the length of the courgette. Then thinly slice the melon into long strips.

4. Toss the melon in a bowl with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on a large platter. Sprinkle on the mint, crumble on the feta and scatter the cherries. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of the pickling liquid over the top.
 
Tips 
Feta can be replaced with a creamy burrata or mozzarella. The pickled cherries make a great accompaniment to a cheese board.

Get ahead
The cherries can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a few days, where the flavour will intensify.

More cherry recipes from Rachel Khoo:


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