Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Composed Garden Salad with Blueberries, A Sweet Cherry Scone & A Strawberry-Pecan Cookie with Royal Harvest Dried Fruits {for Oregon Cherry Growers}

I love it when I’m proven wrong... in a good way. That moment when you think this is too good to be true... and then, it is! Good… and true!

Recently, I had the good fortune of being asked to develop a few recipes for Oregon Cherry Growers’ new line of packaged dried fruits, The Royal Harvest Ultimate Ingredient Fruit.

Incorporating dried fruits and nuts into a myriad of platings, from breakfast fare to dinner offerings, is fairly commonplace in our home so I had no expectations of handling a product that differed much from what I was already well accustomed to. Wow... was I mistaken. And happily so.

Oregon Cherry Growers’ Royal Harvest line of dried blueberries, cherries and strawberries are unlike any dried fruits I’ve ever tasted, or worked with. Made with natural ingredients, non-GMO and gluten free, these dried fruits have been specially formulated for baking and culinary use to deliver premium performance in both hot and cold applications... with a moisture content that is pitch perfect whether baked up or eaten fresh. And, unlike the dried fruits I’m most familiar with, the Royal Harvest line is as close to fresh as I’ve seen or tasted... retaining a more organic appearance and flavor profile than other comparable dried fruits I’ve tried.

I created three recipes utilizing all three dried fruits from the Royal Harvest line: a scone with their Diced Dried Sweet Cherries, featuring a coconut milk-lime zest glaze that adds just a touch of decadence to the subtly sweet and satisfying fruit-dotted crumb of these scones; a cookie with their Sliced Dried Strawberries, that nestles chopped pecans in with Royal Harvest’s plump dried strawberries for a delicious treat that gets dressed up once cooled with a sweet lacing of lemon-white chocolate icing; and, the salad shown at the top of this post, which has quickly become one of my own personal favorites... a composed salad that celebrates the garden with asparagus, fava beans, fennel, and crisp broccoli stems beautifully plated with a generous dotting of Royal Harvest’s Dried Wild Blueberries. The veggies are accompanied by an elegant lemon-honey goat cheese quenelle (though any dollop will do) and, together with a delicate cap of micro greens, are lightly dressed with a champagne-lemon vinaigrette.  The plating also incorporates a few fresh blueberries, given their abundance and seasonal availability at the time this recipe was developed... but, truly, added as much to showcase just how similar they appear next to the Royal Harvest dried fruit... quite incredible!

Though currently available only to the foodservice and bakery industries, Oregon Cherry Growers has plans to soon offer the Royal Harvest line to consumers via their website... so keep posted on that... with wider distribution planned for a later date.   

All dried fruit varieties of the Royal Harvest line performed impressively in each recipe I made... delivering platings I’ll revisit again and again... and provided a satisfying, subtly sweet nibble to enjoy during the process ... an added bonus! Too good… and true.

For recipe details, visit the Oregon Cherry Growers site.

While I have been compensated by Oregon Cherry Growers for this recipe development project, including imagery, the opinions expressed on A Savory Nest are my own. Recipes and all images are the sole property of Oregon Cherry Growers.

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