When In Doubt, Add Blueberries!

All berries are perfect in my book, but for my money, I think blueberries offer the most consistent sweetness and juiciness than any other. Blueberries pair super well with animal protein of all kinds. Simply toss a handful of blueberries into your pan of chicken thighs, skirt steak, or shrimp, and allow them to cook to the point of literally exploding. Dried and fresh chilies are also natural friends with blueberries. I particularly love fresh habanero and blueberry barbecue sauce this time of year, and blueberries are gorgeous cooked down into ancho chili mole sauce.

Blueberries and fresh herbs like mint, dill, tarragon, and basil are summer matches that can’t be beat. Try infusing your summer lemonade with crushed blueberries, fresh mint, and a drop of tamarind syrup. Salad dressing is a natural vehicle for blueberries, their color and inherent sweetness complimenting the acidity and salt of your favorite dressing base. Brighten up a spinach salad by serving it with a “blueberry pie” salad dressing with plenty of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, granny mustard, and pureed blueberries.

And speaking of pie, dessert and breakfast cannot be forgotten (and so often the lines between them can be decadently blurred). Whether served whole on top of pancakes or as a garnish for tarts, pies, or crème brulee, or melted into a coulis to top ice cream or waffles, fresh blueberries will signal to your diners that spring is here to stay.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.