Savory blueberry jam with balsamic vinegar and rosemary
|August 1, 2010||Posted by ameliaps under appetizers, blueberries, jam, savory, summer|
My sweet neighbor Connie kept an extra eye open over our house – and picked up our mail – while we were gone for a few weeks out West and to thank her (together with an American-Indian souvenir) I brought her a small jar of home-made savory jam. I picked up some fresh organic blueberries from the farmer stand up my street. I mean…these blueberries were a burst of tartness from the woods: crunchy, sweet but not too much, fresh, and earthy. I could eat a whole basket of them (and almost did!) just freshly rinsed, …just like pop-corn, but a lot healthier And I loved photographing their beautiful little round blue juicy plumpness. They were perfect!
I did not want to go the obvious way and imagined a way to turn them into a jam that would go well on top of a crusty bread and/or some fresh soft cheese (ricotta?) and/or some French yummy pâté, maybe in the fall. My rosemary plant has been producing so much so my “aha” moment happended as I walked through the garden for some herb inspiration. Then I needed to add some acid to counterbalance and so naturally I gravitated towards my favorite aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar) from Modena, the good stuff…since I only needed a little. So then I recalled immediately another savory jam I like: onion jam and thought of caramelizing half a finely minced shallot (more delicate than onion) for extra sweetness. Then I gave it the final extra punch with pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. I had purchased some adorable mini 4 oz. glass jars for exactly this purpose: small house gifts. Ecco, pronto.
Note: to make yourself familiar with the basics of home canning the National Center for Home Food Preservation is a good place to start.
Makes about 2 half-pint (8 oz.) jars
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 shallot, finely minced
4 cups blueberries (1 quart), rinsed
1 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (good quality)
1 small branch fresh rosemary, de-stemmed, chopped fine
a pinch fresh grated nutmeg
Pepper to taste (maybe 1/4 tsp?)
…and if you wish, a small pinch of a special salt
Sauté the finaly minced shallot in olive oil over medium heat.
Add the blueberries and sugar. Bring to a first bubble. Now add the vinegar and stir.
Add the rosemary, nutmeg, and pepper. Allow to continue boiling gently and reducing in water content for about 10-15 minutes.
Spoon the jam into 2 sterilized half-pint (8 oz.) jars.
Place sterilized lids on top, close, and boil in water about 5-10 minutes.
The jam will thicken once it cools.
I chose to decorate the top of the jar with kitchen twine and a branch of fresh rosemary from my garden.