Blueberry season is here

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Blueberry cookies
Blueberry goodies (Eva-Katalin/E+/Getty Images)

By Keri White

Blueberries are beginning to appear in local markets, and that is good news for those of us who enjoy seasonal fruit. I have been playing around with these berries, and have come up with a few delightful ways to use them.


Blueberry rainbow salad

Serves 4

This salad is as pretty as it is tasty — and it can be adjusted to personal preference. Nut allergy? Skip them! No beets in the house? Omit them and sub in cooked sweet potatoes or raw carrots. Need a vegan or pareve dish? Omit the cheese. You get the idea: This is a framework.

The version here is suggested as a composed, plated salad for a more formal and stylized presentation, but you can certainly toss this all in a bowl for family-style serving.

The salad:

  • 4 cups arugula or other baby lettuce
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed and picked over
  • ½ pound strawberries, hulled and halved, if large
  • 1 mango, cut in cubes
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 4 cooked beets, cooled, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 4 ounces goat cheese

The dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup good-quality olive oil
  • Generous grinding of fresh pepper
  • A pinch or two of kosher salt

Divide the lettuce evenly among four salad plates to form a bed. Stack a layer of beets, a layer of mangos and a layer of blueberries on each plate. Sprinkle nuts over the stack and around the lettuce. Surround the stack with strawberries. Divide the goat cheese in four even portions and top each salad with a round of cheese.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients. Just before serving, drizzle each salad with the dressing.

Blueberry oatmeal cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

This riff on oatmeal raisin cookies is a wonderful seasonal twist and a nice way to use extra berries, especially those a bit past their prime.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Heat your oven to 350 F, and line a baking tray with parchment. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter with the sugars, then add the egg and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until thoroughly blended. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Using two spoons, scoop the dough into balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the centers of the cookies are set. Cook completely and store the cookies in an airtight container.

Blueberry crisp

Serves 8

This version is dairy, but it can be made pareve by subbing margarine or other non-dairy butter and skipping the ice cream topping, or serving it with sorbet.

Filling:

  • 6 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar

Crisp topping:

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 stick butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • Optional topping: vanilla ice cream/cinnamon and allspice

Heat your oven to 375 F.

Mix the filling ingredients in a large baking dish; set it aside.

In a mixing bowl, blend the flour, brown sugar, salt, butter and oats. Blend until the mixture forms pea-sized clumps. Crumble it over fruit mixture and press gently.

Drizzle maple syrup over the crumble topping and bake it for 40-45 minutes. When done, the topping is browned and crisp.

Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon and allspice.

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