Monday, July 1, 2013

Red, White and Roasted Blueberries

We love the 4th of July around here! Fireworks, cookouts, and a vacation many wonderful things about our Nation's birthday. 'Merica!!

Since color is such an important aspect of cooking, I had an idea to play around with our beloved flag colors for today's post. I quickly realized that I don't have any blue dishes!! Then I quickly realized again that I have yet to highlight blueberries on the blog, which is crazy, because they are in season and delicious right now. 

Red, White and Roasted Blueberries |

When I think of blueberries, I usually think desserts, which I mostly can't have. So I decided to challenge myself and come up with an appetizer. I had several pints of blueberries, various types of cheese and two taste-testers in my house yesterday. I did what any normal food-obsessed person would do, experimented! 

Ryan and his brother Paul were enjoying one of the many sporting events on TV, while I pulled out every dairy product and cracker we had in our kitchen. Overall, I did about 15 different combinations, but the unanomous favorite were the roasted blueberries over melted Gouda in fillo shells with thyme and white pepper....say what?!?!

Red, White and Roasted Blueberries |

Blue on Blue

Let's back track and talk about how we got there...I started with fresh blueberries and made little toothpicks with each type of cheese and a blueberry. The favorite there was with a Blue Stilton cheese. We called these Blue on Blue!

Red, White and Roasted Blueberries |

Sinking Blues

The next step was filling fillo shells with different types of cheese and topping with a few blueberries. I melted these in the oven for a few minutes and topped with either a bit of honey or cracked pepper, depending on the cheese. We called these Sinking Blues!

Red, White and Roasted Blueberries |

Roasted Blueberries

Like most of the fruit in my kitchen, I wondered about cooking the blueberries. They get so sweet and juicy in a pie or galette, why not with cheese! The result was amazing! I mixed the blueberries with a little bit of lemon juice and honey and roasted them in the oven for less than 10 minutes, just long enough for the blueberries to pop and create a nice juice in the pan.

If you can find a goat milk Gouda cheese (Trader Joe's has one), this was the BEST with the roasted blueberries. We also found the plain water crackers to work best also. Triscuits are too thick and take over the flavors. We spiced it up a notch with white pepper and thyme leaves. All in all it was a delightful little blue appy to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Red, White and Roasted Blueberries |

Roasted Blueberries

Yields: Around 1 cup
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 7-10 minutes

1 pint blueberries
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp honey
dried thyme (optional)
white pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375F and mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil or brush with melted butter. Roast the blueberries for about 7-10 minutes, or until the blueberries start to pop. Remove and bring to room temperature.

Serve with your favorite cheese and crackers!

Red, White and Roasted Blueberries |

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