Monday, September 1, 2008

From the Farm: Blueberries

The rain was coming down in sheets on Saturday, the day I normally head to the farmers market to pick up my CSA farm share. The market is scheduled to run rain or shine, but since lightening and tents with metal poles are probably not a good combination, everything was on hold until the skies cleared. A few hours later, the rain had slowed to a drizzle, so I headed over to see what Lexi at Gazy Brothers Farm had for me this week. (Photo above by MeetaK)

The rain had kept most people away that day, so Lexi had a surplus of produce. Rather than have to bring so much back to the farm, she was nice enough to offer up some extras to me for braving the elements. As a result, I ended up with three huge containers of freshly picked blueberries, plus lots of veggies including corn, red onions, fresh basil, tomatoes, and a gorgeous, perfect looking purple eggplant.

The first container instantly disappeared when I set them out for my little ones and some of their buddies. The second container made its way into a triple batch of blueberry muffin bread (adapted from a recipe in How To Bake by Nick Malgieri), and I saved the third container for an unusual but delicious salad.

Years ago, I’d written down the idea for this salad on a piece of scrap paper which ended up stuffed in the front of my overflowing recipe box. I’d all but forgotten about it until one day I decided to organize all the stray recipes I’d written down, ripped out, and recycled. Unfortunately, I have no recollection as to where this particular recipe originated. I may have eaten it at a restaurant, seen it in a photo, or read about it in a magazine or newspaper article. Whatever its source, it made an impression on me, prompting me to scratch out an ingredient list on that stray piece of paper.

It’s a good thing I reorganized my recipe box when I did, considering blueberries are just about done for the season. The salad features blueberries as the main ingredient, and is paired with tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette. It may seem strange to put vinegar on fruit, but it’s actually a classic! Italians love strawberries with balsamic vinegar, which is another surprisingly delicious combination.

So, revel in the blueberry bounty! It’s great alongside fish, chicken, or steak, or perfect as a picnic salad.

Blueberry & Tomato Salad
Serves 4

1 pint blueberries
½ pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt

Combine berries and tomatoes in a bowl and toss to combine.
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and add to salad. Toss again and serve chilled or at room temperature.

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