Blueberry season is upon us! Hooray!
I’ve been picking every morning for the past week, and the berries are piling up in the fridge. It may not be as big a haul this year as I would have hoped – the squirrels have found them. And the crows – I’ve never had issues with them before. Cleo is doing her best to run them off, but an old dog can’t spend the whole day outside in this weather. Neither can I, for that matter… Outdoor chores have to be done by 10:30 until this heat breaks.
So, I have lots of lovely berries… What to do with them first? This may come as a shock to anyone who knew me as a child, but we’re not big dessert-eaters, so pie is out for now – there’s just the two of us, most of it would be wasted. Not muffins, it’s too hot. The local strawberries are past, and there are no melons or peaches yet, so nothing to combine them with for a fruit salad. What could I do that was savory, as opposed to sweet?
I don’t know if the fruit salsa craze of a few years back ever made it to other parts of the country, but I fell in love with the idea after one taste of a peach salsa over some grilled chicken at a local restaurant. There were jars of every flavor combination you could imagine. Of course, once you read the labels of these commercial preparations, you found that they were full of more than just chopped fruit and seasonings. Salsa is the easiest thing in the world, so I began making it at home, replacing the usual tomatoes with whatever fruit was in-season.
Here are the basics: Chopped red onion, chopped red or green pepper, lemon or lime juice, fruit of your choice, fresh chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. Diced jalapeno, if you want more heat. I didn’t use one in this salsa, the tartness of the blueberries didn’t seem to call for it. I do put it in if I’m using sweeter fruits. Mix it together, cover and chill for at least an hour before serving. Easy-peasy.
I served it last night over grilled swordfish (yeah, I’m spoiled!), with John’s marvelous garlic rice. It would be good with whatever fish is available in your area, or with grilled chicken. Maybe pork chops. Go crazy! And, let me know what you think…
3/4 c. red onion, diced
3/4 c. red bell pepper, diced
1 c. fresh blueberries, roughly chopped
1/4 c. fresh blueberries, whole
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from one lime
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill at least one hour before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.