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.
Given their current 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. Our favorite source for Jersey Fresh blueberries and produce is Matarazzo’s Farmers’ Market.
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 we used 25-star Balsamic from Olive That and More. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Sure you could bake a cake, or even get one from the local bakery, but anyone with a keen eye will recognize this as the Sara Lee Classic Pound Cake from the freezer case. In our over-extended, over-scheduled world being the foodie we want to be is often a challenge. Taking ingredients that most of us have in the pantry to make ordinary grocery items extraordinary is something everyone at here loves to do.
We use local honey in our recipes not only for their flavor but because those purchases support local farmers as well as local ecosystems. While some supermarkets may offer local honey, the best sources are right from the beekeeper. Most New Jersey farmers’ markets have at least once beekeeper offering their golden nectar. For the vegan version of this sauce use agave.
John Lee is Black Tie and Flip Flops’ Raconteur-In-Chief: the World of food is his playground ~ the whole world! Having a Navy Dad gave John the passion to discover the world. Whether in one of Mr. Boeing’s flying machines, as an armchair traveler with a great book, or a plate beaming with the exotic flavors and fragrances, his day is all about discovering the world and sharing the stories with everyone he meets.
John cut his teeth in commercial kitchens starting in high school and continued into his undergrad years, then the media bug bit. After University he spent time at the Washington Post Company before jumping on the first internet wave in the 1990’s at some of the major players of the era. John also established himself as a culinary instructor where his style of cooking was first called “Comfort Food Remixed.” Don’t get him started on Disney Dining, but yes, he tried “the grey stuff” and it is delicious. John jokes that he’s staying in NJ because he didn’t have enough miles to trade in for a return ticket home to San Diego, but we think he likes it here.