Savory Blueberry Sauce

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Savory Blueberry Sauce2

Blueberries are my favorite berry and we eat them all year long at our house. Some time ago, I  developed a savory blueberry sauce as a condiment to accompany  simple entrées such as roast chicken or grilled pork tenderloin. This fruity sauce transforms a relatively plain dish into something special, good enough to serve company.

I came up with this combination of citrus and spice to balance against the sweetness of the fresh blueberries. When my husband was recovering from his heart attack, this is the kind of recipe I turned to, healthy but tasty. Not only is this recipe low sodium, but it is vegan and gluten-free as well.

Be sure to break out your best quality balsamic vinegar for its intense, complex  flavors and syrup-y goodness. I like to use Meyer lemons from our tree, but any lemon will work here. California olive oil tends to have a fruitier flavor than do many other olive oils, a nice pairing with the balsamic vinegar.

TIP: I use my rasp to finely grate the peeled ginger root an do so directly over the pan of sauce. You can guess a teaspoon, right? Nothing about this recipe requires precise measurements.

Note: My recipe is an entry in a contest sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Be sure to check out their informative site here…And keep your fingers crossed for me, OK?

Savory Blueberry Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
Blueberries and balsamic vinegar are spotlighted in this savory fruit sauce.
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon best quality balsamic vinegar
  • zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, trimmed and finely grated
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • lemon zest curls (optional garnish)
  1. Wash the blueberries, drain and set aside.
  2. Using a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the shallot until limp, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, ginger, cumin and cayenne. Stir to combine, then cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the blueberries, reduce the heat to medium-low, stir gently and cook, uncovered, until the berries release enough juice to create a sauce while still retaining their shape. This will take about 15 minutes.
  5. Pour into a serving dish, garnish and serve immediately.


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19 Responses to Savory Blueberry Sauce

  1. Carol Sacks November 18, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    This looks marvelous — blueberries are my favorite, too. Nice photo, as well. Good luck in the contest!

    • Liz November 18, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Thanks, Carol – it was tricky getting that darn sauce into the dish without smearing it all over for the shot…

  2. Erika {In Erika's Kitchen} November 18, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Liz, this looks absolutely delicious! 🙂

    • Liz November 18, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Thanks, Erica – the flavor actually improved when I deleted salt from the recipe.

  3. Lynda - TasteFood November 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    I love blueberries too, Liz, and rarely think to use them in a savory way. This sauce is packed with flavor – I’ll be trying this.

    • Liz November 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

      Let me know how you like it, Linda – I’ll bet it would be great with a little more heat as well.

  4. Wendy Read November 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Fingers crossed! Your recipe looks wonderful and the photo is just stunning too! I bet you would LOVE pickled blueberries, they are incredibly good, It is a two day process to make them, I need to post my recipe up on the blog sometime. XXX

    • Liz November 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

      Miss you, Wendy, and thanks for all your constant support –

  5. Jayne November 19, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    This looks lovely! Good luck in the contest!

    • Liz November 19, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Thanks, Jayne – and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner in the pub. Sounds pretty good to me –

  6. Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver November 19, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Beautiful photo, Liz! I bet this would add a little something extra to pork for sure. Good luck in the contest!

    • Liz November 19, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      Lisa, thanks – I imagine there are tons of entries in the contest.

  7. Oui, Chef November 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    I live in cranberry country, but this dish is totally rocking my world…awesome photo too, Liz!

  8. Laura @ Family Spice November 20, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    This is good enough to grace the Thanksgiving table. Move over cranberry sauce!

  9. domenicacooks November 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Liz, what a delicious twist. Thanks for the inspiration. Good luck to you. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Liz November 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      Thanks so much, Dominica – your new cookbook is lovely.

  10. sippitysup November 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    This should be a highbush winner! GREG

  11. The Wimpy Vegetarian December 1, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    What a fantastic idea for a sauce. We had some blueberry bushes planted at our last house, and miss having the berries so handy. I’m on my way now to check out the contest! just got back from Atlanta last night. hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!

    • Liz December 1, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      Thanks, Susan – we had a lovely holiday. Suddenly, it is December, though – wow.

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