By Flavor & The Menu
July 7, 2021
Fresh blueberries bring a lot to both the savory and sweet side of the menu, thanks to their naturally sweet-tart flavor, beautiful color and superfruit status. But with just a simple quick pickle, the blueberry can add memorable impact to elevating a dish with its bright acidity and delighting guests with an intriguing flavor profile of a beloved ingredient.
From a product usage perspective, quick pickling is a savvy technique that helps extend the fresh blueberries’ shelf life. Once the berries are a few days past their prime and are perhaps drying out a little, quick pickling re-plumps the blueberries and gives them a new lease on life with all-new menu possibilities. Read on for inspiration.
Creative Flavor Pairings
Just a few flavor add-ins take pickled blueberries in a multitude of different trend-forward menu directions:
Bloody Mary garnish: Pickled blueberries + rosemary + thyme + bay leaves + black peppercorns
Fried rice inclusion: Pickled blueberries + lemongrass + ginger + miso
Taco topper: Pickled blueberries + ancho chile + cloves + tamarind
Middle Eastern braise: Pickled blueberries + preserved lemon + sumac
How to Maximize Pickled Blueberries
- Use in place of citrus fruits or vinegars to add sweet and tangy notes to a sauce
- Rough chop into a chutney, then spread onto a handheld or spoon over grilled meats
- Incorporate into salads, slaws, salsas and pasta salads to add a contrasting hit of color and tartness
- Muddle them for cocktails to put a modern twist on drinks like the mojito or whiskey smash
- Strain the pickling liquid and blend with extra-virgin olive oil to make a blueberry vinaigrette
- Top hummus, dips and soft cheeses with a pickled blueberry compote
For these ideas and more blueberry inspiration, visit blueberry.org/foodservice.