Place cherries in small bowl. Cover with hot water. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain.
Combine milk, rice, sugar, orange peel and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer gently uncovered until rice is very tender and pudding is creamy, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Mix in cherries and vanilla. Divide among 6 custard cups. Cool. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill.) Serve chilled or at room temperature, passing additional milk to stir into pudding, if desired.