City Palate

The Harvest Issue - September October 2017

4 Quick ways with Blueberries
4_Quick_ways_with..._Blueberries

July / Aug 2015

From Chris Halpin

Blueberries are so much more than just delicious – they are one of the world’s “super foods.” Good news for all of us! We’ve all had delicious baked goods with blueberries taking centre stage, but blueberries are way more versatile than that!

1. Blueberry and Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

A soup that’s as refreshing to the eye as it is to the palate. Blend until smooth 6 c. yellow tomatoes, chopped, ١/٢ c. leeks, finely sliced, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, ١/٢ c. olive oil, 2 T. champagne vinegar, ١/٢ t. sugar, a dash of hot sauce and salt to taste. Pour this into a bowl and add 1 c. blueberries, coarsely chopped, ١/٢ c. cucumber, finely diced, ١/٢ c. red pepper, finely diced, 2 T. chives, finely chopped and 2 T. tarragon leaves, finely chopped, and mix well. Chill or serve at room temperature. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some of the chopped blueberries.
Serves 6.

2. Blueberry, Butter Lettuce and Roquefort Salad with Dill Dressing

The quintessential summer salad. In a bowl, put 1/2 c. plain yogurt, 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. sugar, 1/2 t. Sriracha hot sauce, 2 T. dill, finely chopped and 1 T. chives, finely chopped. Whisk until smooth. On 6 salad plates, arrange 2 or 3 butter lettuce leaves, drizzled with the dressing. Divide 1 c. fresh blueberries on top of the lettuce on each plate and crumble roquefort cheese over the blueberries. Serves 6.

3. Blueberry and Juniper Flank Steak

This is a great recipe that can be prepped ahead of time and finished when you’re ready to eat. Salt and sear a 3-4 lb. flank steak on a hot grill – you’re not cooking it, you’re just searing it. When the sear is complete, remove from the heat and place on a wire rack on a baking tray to cool. In a bowl put 6 juniper berries, crushed and finely chopped, 1 shallot, finely chopped, 1 T. black pepper, juice of 1 lemon and ١/٤ c. canola oil, and mix well. To this, add 1 c. fresh blueberries and, with a potato masher, crush the berries but don’t over-crush them – they should still be recognizable. Pat this mixture onto the top of the steak and let stand for at least one hour before cooking or as much as a day in advance and refrigerate it. If you are going to refrigerate the steak, don’t wrap it. It may look a little dry the next day, but the end result is so good. When ready to finish the steak, either bake it in a 350°F. oven or in a covered medium-hot grill on the top rack for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how you like your beef done. Remove from the heat and sprinkle coarse salt overtop and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Slicing tip – the sharper the slicing angle, the easier it is to get thin slices, and always cut across the grain. Serves 4 to 6.

4. Blueberry Pimm’s and 7

A summer drink, if ever there was one. Pimm’s Cup or Pimm’s and 7, as some say, is the Brit’s version of sangria; this is my version. Thinly slice 1 lemon and 1 orange and place into a pitcher with 1 c. fresh blueberries, 8 mint leaves, 1 c. Pimm’s No.1 and gently muddle. Add 4 handfuls of ice and fill with 7-Up. Gently stir and serve. If you’re making one jug, you should make a second, as this drink tends to slide down fast. Serves 1 to 8.