Friday, July 3, 2009

Relish Your Hot Dog

My husband brought home this recipe for a relish made with Rainier cherries and Walla Walla onions from his coworker, David Albert. We had it on hot dogs last night (mine also had Dijon mustard on it, and the combination was fantastic). The relish was sweet and tangy, and a little smoky from the grilling – mmmm, the perfect accompaniment to a 4th of July hot dog. We thought it would also be delicious on salmon or pork chops. For vegetarians, how about putting it on a savory grilled portabella mushroom? Oh yeah!

A little more about the hot dogs we ate: 100% beef, no fillers, no nitrites, no MSG, no gluten. The company is located in Bellingham, WA and sources their beef from Oregon. Unfortunately, it appears that these hot dogs are only available in Washington and Oregon, but you may be able to find a similar product from your own local area.

As for the other ingredients, Rainier cherries are the ones with the swirled creamy yellow and blushing red skin. They’re sweeter than red cherries and are usually larger, making them a lot easier to pit! They're only harvested here in Washington in June and July, so now’s the time to try them.

Walla Walla onions are also a product for which Washington is famous, though they originated in Italy. The Walla Walla is a sweet onion, meaning it contains less sulfur and is therefore less pungent than other onions. This mildness makes it perfect for this Washington summer relish. It also has a higher water content and is therefore more susceptible to spoilage. The season for Walla Wallas is mid-June through September.

Here's how to make the relish:

The original recipe calls for smoking the onions, but my husband didn’t have a way to do that so he grilled them instead. He cut the onion into thick slices, salted them on both sides, then used one of our cast iron pans to grill them over medium-high heat until slightly charred and tender, several minutes on each side.

He chopped those up and added them to the pitted and chopped cherries. The ratio of onion to cherry is about one pound onion to a half pound of cherries (with pits). To finish it up, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and 1-3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Let the whole mixture sit and macerate for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.


  1. that sounds amazing! And someone just gave me 2 walla walla onions-- just need to get more cherries (we eat them as fast as they come in the door!) and try this!

  2. Sabrina, I hope you like it. Let me know how you used it.

  3. This sounds great! I've got the cherries, I'm gonna try this soon.