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Published June 09, 2010, 09:29 AM

Varied berry: Blue beauties can satisfy all tastes

It’s blueberry time. The fat, juicy, antioxidant-stuffed berries are popping up at grocery stores and farmers markets everywhere.

By: Tammy Swift, INFORUM, Worthington Daily Globe

It’s blueberry time.

The fat, juicy, antioxidant-stuffed berries are popping up at grocery stores and farmers markets everywhere.

Still, when it comes to cooking with blueberries, our tastes can be a bit one-dimensional. We tend to associate them only with pies, cobblers and crisps. In the meantime, we neglect the other four taste profiles that are enhanced by this versatile fruit.

With that in mind, we offer blueberry recipes to satisfy more than the sweet tooth. Some of the following dishes are indisputably sweet, although they’re also designed to appease the other human tastes: bitter, sour, salty and savory.

Savory

The scientific community has finally accepted that our tongues actually contain receptors for a fifth taste: savory. The Japanese call it “umami,” and it’s that hard-to-describe taste sensation that’s associated with terms like “mouth-coating,” “brothy,” “meaty,” and just plain “satisfying.”

Umami is typically associated with foods like aged cheeses, soup stock, soy sauce, seafood, anchovies and ripe tomatoes.

The vinegar and blue cheese should amp up the umami index of this blueberry-studded spinach salad considerably.

Blueberry Spinach Salad

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach, torn

1 (4-ounce) package blue cheese, crumbled

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the first five ingredients and shake well.

2. In a large salad bowl, toss the spinach, blue cheese, blueberries and pecans.

3. Drizzle with the dressing mixture and toss gently; serve immediately.

Source: http://allrecipes.com

Sour

Rhubarb is a great way to inject some welcome tartness into otherwise sugary baked goods.

These Rhubarb Blueberry Muffins combine the sweetness of blueberries with the sour undertones of the pie plant. (The sour cream adds a tangy edge, too.)

Rhubarb Blueberry Muffins

1/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup milk

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup chopped rhubarb

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Add egg and sour cream; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Fold in blueberries and rhubarb.

2. Fill 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups about two-thirds full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans.

Source: http://allrecipes.com

Salty

What else can you expect from a blog titled “Bacon, Bacon, Bacon”? The following salt- and fat-choked “recipe” – if you can call it that – is a dietitian’s nightmare. Still, it will satisfy any sweet-salty cravings. And any dude worth his 73-inch plasma TV and Ed Hardy T-shirt will love it.

Bacon-Blueberry-Waffle Breakfast Sandwich

2 blueberry waffles lightly drizzled with maple syrup (either thawed frozen waffles or made from your favorite recipe)

2 fried eggs, over hard

2 link sausages, cooked

1 slice ham

2 slices of favorite cheese

4 strips of bacon

Toast or make waffles. Fry eggs, ham, sausage and bacon. Drain grease. Stack on top of one waffle. Place cheese on top and melt under broiler or in microwave. Top off with second waffle.

Source:

http://baconbaconbacon.tumblr.com

Bitter

Serious chocolate lovers often prefer the rich, complex bite of dark chocolate to the creamy but bland appeal of milk chocolate. A bar of high-quality dark chocolate – like Valrhona or Perugina – can include as many different flavors as a glass of fine wine.

Bittersweet chocolates contain cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes lecithin – but no milk solids. The best dark chocolates can contain 65 to 70 percent chocolate liquor, which makes it richer and more intensely flavored.

This easy recipe contrasts the sweetness of blueberries with the sharp, deep finish of dark chocolate.

Bittersweet Blueberry Truffles

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1. Pass the berries through a food mill fitted with a fine disk or force them through a fine sieve, mashing with a wooden spoon, into a medium bowl. You’ll have about 1/2 cup blueberry puree; set it aside and discard the contents of the strainer.

2. Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, just until boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate; whisk to blend. Stir in the blueberry puree and the salt. Refrigerate the mixture until completely chilled, about 1 hour.

3. Pour the cocoa powder onto a plate. With a melon-baller or spoon, scoop the chocolate-blueberry mixture and shape it into 1-inch balls. If the truffles are very soft, put them on a baking sheet and refrigerate briefly to firm. Roll the shaped truffles in the cocoa, coating them thoroughly. If sealed and refrigerated, these truffles will keep for about 1 week.

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