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10 fresh ways to use fresh blueberries

by J.M. HIRSCH Associated Press

Blueberries keep best when stored dry. In other words, wash them only as you use them. Until then, keep them lightly covered and refrigerated. If you freeze them, the flavor will be fine, but the texture will be different. So once frozen, it's best to use them only in recipes that involve cooking them.

10 fresh uses for fresh blueberries

Vinaigrette: Add a handful of blueberries to a blender with a 3:1 ratio of oil and vinegar (balsamic or red wine would be good), as well as a hit of salt and pepper. Blend until mostly smooth.

Sweet and chilly snack: Wash berries, roll them in coarse sugar, then freeze. Eat them as is for a sweet treat.

Compote: Saute 1 finely diced yellow onion in a bit of butter. Add 1 cup blueberries, a bit of grated fresh ginger and a splash of hot sauce. Simmer until the berries pop, reduce and begin to thicken. Season with ample black pepper and a pinch of salt and ground cumin. Spoon over grilled pork.

Creamed: Mound fresh berries in a bowl, then drizzle with heavy cream. Follow that by a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cordial: Bring 1 cup of blueberries and 1⁠2 cup of sugar to a simmer and cook until the berries are broken down and thickened. Strain and discard any solids. Divide the mixture between 4 tumblers. Add ice, then top with vodka or gin.

Grain salad: Toss fresh blueberries with cooked and cooled quinoa or farro, diced cucumber, fresh mint and minced red onion. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette and top with slivered almonds.

Cornbread:

Add blueberries to your favorite cornbread recipe.

Spread: Mix 1⁠4 cup slightly mashed blueberries, chopped scallions and about 1⁠2 cup mayonnaise. Use as a sandwich spread.

Salsa:

In a processor, finely mince 1 red onion, 1 jalapeno pepper and a handful of fresh cilantro. Add 1 cup fresh blueberries, a splash of olive oil, the juice of 1⁠2 lemon. Pulse until the blueberries are just chopped, then season with salt and pepper.

Cheese topper: Simmer 1 cup blueberries with 1 tablespoon sugar and a dash of hot sauce. When the blueberries have broken down and thickened, pour over a room temperature round of brie and serve with crackers.

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