Friday, July 19, 2013

Blueberry Mint Honey Vinegar & Salad Dressing

That white dot in the center of the two bottles is a blurry shot of one of our colonies!

My blueberry growing friend and colleague (and blog fan!) Ruth has promised to freeze a few of her delicious berries for me for when I return to campus in the fall (thanks, Ruth!).  We're lucky that we also live by a pick-your-own blueberry farm where I send Robert to bring back some of the bounty.  You can't have too many blueberries, that's for sure!

Miriam Rubin's "Miriam's Garden" column in the food section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently included this great recipe for Blueberry-Mint Vinegar that she credits to Nancy Hanst, whose recipes often show up in Post-Gazette's food section.  The vinegar (which takes a few days to steep) makes a great base for an on-the-sweet-side salad dressing that would be lovely on a spinach or lettuce salad or used to dress some freshly roasted beets.  Instead of mint, you could use basil (which is from the mint family after all).

Blueberry-Mint-Honey Vinegar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) blueberries
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves--I used spearmint, but peppermint would be nice, too.

Bring the vinegar and honey to a boil.  Place the berries and mint in a jar and pour the vinegar-honey over them.  Cover and let steep for about 48 hours.  Strain out the berries and mint (not pressing on the berries) and then decant the vinegar into a bottle.

Blueberry-Mint-Honey Salad Dressing
1 small garlic clove
1/4 cup blueberry-mint-honey vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (optional but helps the dressing to stay emulsified)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small food processor, mince the garlic clove.  Add the vinegar, honey & mayonnaise and whirl to blend. With processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil and blend until fully emulsified.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Store in the refrigerator.  Makes 1 cup and keeps for about a week.

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