A dietitian friend used to say that eating healthfully is eating colorfully. “Eating a rainbow every day” was her easy way to remember to put a lot of variety on your plate. The colorful things, particularly in summer, bring us lots of vitamins and benefits like beta carotene, along with fiber.

In my drive to eat more healthfully, I get a lot of help from friends. Many of my fellow food writers have newsletters these days, and they’re a constant source of inspiration. I first saw this salad last summer it when Emily Nunn, editor of the brilliant online publication The Department of Salad, interviewed a friend of mine, Mitchell Davis, who has his own newsletter, Kitchen Sense.

The recipe sounds strange – cherries and jalapenos? – but it was such a hit at my house that I made it over and over, until fresh, sweet cherries disappeared that fall. Now they’re back for the summer and I’m happy to have Davis (and Nunn) and this crazy, colorful side dish back on my plate.

This is one rainbow I’ll keep chasing until fall.

Everyone needs to see a doctor.

Book in a heartbeat

Cherry Salad

From Mitchell Davis of Kitchen Sense and Emily Nunn of The Department of Salad.


  • About 12 ounces (2 1/2 cups) large sweet cherries
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper


Pit the cherries and cut in halves. (If you don’t have a cherry pitter, use a chopstick or a straw to push out the pit.) Place in a serving bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and toss to mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers for up to three days.

Yield: 6 servings. Per serving: 98 calories; 6.9g fat (1g saturated fat); 0mg cholesterol; 187.9mg sodium; 9.5g carbohydrates (1.3g dietary fiber, 7.4g sugars); 0.7g protein.