Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Blueberries Are Coming!

It has been a fairly typical March in the Pacific Northwest: showers, occasional sunshine, and temperatures in the 50s. The daffodils and jonquils are opening their bright yellow blooms; tulips are poking their leaves out of the ground, and flowering trees are beginning to bloom. This morning, I saw that my blueberry bushes are beginning to bud and I am so excited to see my blueberries later this spring. I love blueberries just plain, or on my cereal, or in muffins, but I also like them in a chutney.

Chutney is a relish or condiment that is both sweet and spicy. It accompanies meats such as pork or chicken, and can also be served as a topping for cheese, bread, or crackers. I really like blueberry chutney on Brie, or as a topping for cream cheese or ricotta cheese on crackers or sliced French baguettes.

Chutney can be made from a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. These include blueberries, cherries, apples, mangoes, pineapples, figs, dates, raisins, onions, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, peppers, fenugreek, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and so on. Here's my recipe for a blueberry chutney:

Blueberry Chutney
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 lemon, both juice and zest
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, cook the onion in butter until the onion is soft and translucent - about 10 - 15 minutes
  2. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes
  3. Add the blueberries, vinegar, and lemon juice; bring to a boil and then lower the heat; simmer for about 20 minutes; some of the blueberries will pop
  4. Add the lemon zest, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne pepper; mix well and cook over low heat until thickened - about 10 minutes
Serve warm with meat, such as pork or chicken, or chill for at least an hour and serve with cheese, bread, crackers, etc. This chutney is delicious warm, room temperature, or chilled.

No comments:

Post a Comment