Remember when the strawberries came in and we were so excited?
(Wait, was that just me? I doubt it. Strawberries are so amazing, I wrote about them twice.)
Well, the blueberries have arrived.
I’ve been trying to write about them for two weeks now, but I keep eating them by the pint before I can try a recipe with them.
To make up for it, I’m offering two arguably strange concoctions centering on blueberries, both from Cooking Light.
Did I say strange? I meant creative.
How about blueberry soup? Maybe a blueberry chutney as a grilling sauce?
But first …
Did you know: Aside from some varieties of potatoes, blueberries are one of the only blue-colored foods in nature? Also, our neighboring states of Maryland and New Jersey are two of the largest producers of blueberries in the country.
Storage tip: Don’t wash blueberries until you’re ready to eat them. As with other fruits and especially fragile berries, trapping them in Tupperware with moisture breeds mold and bacteria. If you can’t eat them all (I have no concept of this dilemma, so I Googled freezing tips), spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze them overnight, then transfer them to an airtight container. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to a year, but surely you can finish them — in smoothies, muffins, pancakes, pies, anything — before they come in season again, can’t you?
Blueberry chipotle chutney (from Cooking Light)
- 4 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 cup finely chopped Granny Smith apple
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons grated orange rind
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (about 2 chiles)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered 25 minutes. Stir frequently and, when thickened, remove from heat. It will keep in airtight containers for a month or more, so make it on a cool day when you don’t mind turning on the stove. When ready to use it, it makes a great barbecue sauce for red meat and poultry, but I’m envisioning it as a spread on a veggie burrito — not as a guacamole replacement, mind you! Just to shake things up a bit. Lastly, for brunch-type fare, this chutney would be good with baguette slices and soft cheese.
Blueberry gazpacho with lemon and mint (from Cooking Light)
- 1 pound dark purple seedless grapes
- 12 ounces fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup white grape juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Fresh mint leaves
Combine fruit, grape juice and honey in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let thicken for 15 minutes, then transfer to a food processor and puree until almost smooth. Strain, discard solids and chill soup. Before serving, stir in rind, juice and salt and garnish with mint leaves. Serve cold to room temperature.
And if neither of those sound good, just devour them by the pint like I can’t seem to stop doing.
Pick your own: Just like when the sweet cherries came in, many local farms offer pick-your-own deals for blueberries. Check out the big ones in my cherry-picking post, or head up to Raven’s Blueberry Farm, 137 Butter Road, Conewago Township. Now through mid-August, they offer PYO blueberries for only $2.99 a pound, and sans any herbicides or pesticides.