Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Balsamic Blueberry Sauce Recipe : Sweet, Savory, or Sassy

Blueberries are one of those super foods about which we are told to consume more, but sadly most of us limit them to cereal and oatmeal. Pish! The variations of this simple blueberry sauce celebrate this fruit and with some simple switches that can work in sweet and savory situations.

Blueberry Escape!Given their recent abundance fresh blueberries were used for this recipe and photograph, but the store bought frozen variety work equally well for those times of the year when fresh are not available. We even had a go at this recipe with fresh blueberries that we froze ourselves and they worked great.

Sure there are lots of blueberry sauces and jams that could be melted a bit to make a sauce but more supermarket varieties are loaded with sugar or corn syrup. We’re keeping these versions as close to the farm as possible.
For the balsamic vinegar Olivier 25 year old barrel aged Balsamic Vinegar from Williams Sonoma was used. It’s so much better than anything found at the supermarket and is so sweet and thick that it is possible to do balsamic shots.

For the basic sweet blueberry sauce:
2 cups blueberries
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1Tbs Honey
¼ tsp cinnamon

In a skillet over really low heat stir together the Balsamic and Honey*, as they warm they’ll start to combine nicely. Add the blueberries. Stir to coat as much as possible. We’re not really looking to cook the blueberries as much as we’re just heating them through. Most likely it will seem that nothing’s happing, nothing’s happening, then oops, the balsamic mixture is bubbling up. At this point add the cinnamon and stir. With the back of a fork start smashing blueberries. Their juices will be released and add to the liquid portion of the sauce while the smashed inner fruit helps thicken it.

Since this is all about the blueberries, I smash only half of the berries, leaving the other half fully intact. And pinch of salt is all that’s needed to complete the sauce. Those full sized blueberries scream homemade and will roll over the top of ice cream or pound cake beautifully!
*If using a more tart balsamic you might have to add another teaspoon or two of honey to balance the acid while the sauce is still very warm so it blends easily.
Blueberries In AllClad
For a savory version of the sauce: Add a wee bit of olive oil to a skillet and sweat a minced shallot over low heat, once its soft and translucent continue as above with the addition of a second tablespoon of the balsamic. We’re keeping the honey in this version because we love honey and it helps keep things thick, just a bit. Be sure to NOT forget the cinnamon. Cinnamon is used in savory foods in India and North Africa and it will add that extra something to this savory version as well. Adding a pinch of pepper at the end makes this the ideal surprise sauce for grilled salmon.

For the sassy version: Cook in something from Victoria’s Secret (only kidding)! The only difference between the sassy version and the savory is the addition of a ¼ tsp of chili powder at the same time the cinnamon is added.
We use local honey in our recipes not only for their flavor but because those purchases support local farmers as well as local ecosystems.

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