It's the peak of California's blueberry season, and Seattle's is soon to follow. Chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau suggest ways to use summer's most perfect, antioxidant-rich fruit.
"I'm a big fan of taking blueberries the savory route," Tom says. "I also like them in a dessert, and they're certainly welcome at any part of the meal." But Tom particularly enjoys putting them in his sweet corn and blueberry salad, "with basil and black pepper and a little mustard vinaigrette."
Thierry enjoys pairing blueberries with fennel. "I think it makes a great combination. The only thing is, you can't necessarily macerate too far ahead of time, or else your fennel will turn blue," he says. "What I recommend is to macerate - and I usually do just a simple, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper - and I macerate the fennel in with that, and then at the last minute, add the blueberries."
Thierry adds that this makes a great salad on the side if you're grilling lamb chops. It also makes a suitable garnish.
Tom suggests using blueberries as a crush to your meat. "It doesn't make it mealy like red wine does."
And if you let your blueberries get over-ripe, Thierry says not to worry. "You can always make vinegar with it. You just put a little bit of red wine vinegar and red wine, and let it macerate for a couple of months at room temperature."
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