|‘”Mama’s Plate Update’ Blueberry Blogger’s Recipe Contest” Savory Entry|
|Pickled blueberries also make a great holiday gift!|
When the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council announced a recipe contest open to bloggers only, I was so excited because blueberries certainly make their way into lots of my dishes, sweet and savory. I didn’t need to think for too long; I knew exactly what type of preparation I wanted to work with: my pickled blueberries! Yep! You read correctly; I pickled them! Now, there are a ton of fantastically, creative blueberry recipes on the delicious site dedicated to blue beauty, littlebluedynamos.com, so I knew I had my work cut out for me to create something deliciously inventive for a holiday.
Whenever our friends and family come over for the holidays, one party appetizer that our guests always look forward to are the unique varieties of pizzas, or little pizzettes. I’m always trying to invent new combinations of ingredients that keep things fresh and new. This holiday, my challenge was to get a little more festive, and I think I pulled it off with this blueberry change-up!
This year, I started pickling a variety of vegetables and fruits, including blueberries. I think that blueberries lend themselves to pickling so well because they’re not too sweet. But, I still wasn’t sure how I was going to use them in this recipe contest. That was, until I saw a huge hunk of lovin’ at my local cheese shop. It was a Blueberry Stilton cheese, marbled with beautiful, whole blueberries in it! It was like the heavens opened up! I had to pick it up and examine it. I’m telling you, it looked almost too gorgeous to eat. Just then it hit me; I thought, what if I used gorgonzola cheese (another type of bleu cheese) instead of Stilton? Bam. That was it. There was my trinity: Blueberry, gorgonzola, prosciutto.
It HAS to taste incredible! And, you know what? It really, really does! Trust me on this one! Adding the arugula lends a fresh, peppery pop and festive color, but the blueberries are the crowning jewel. Not only do they add an interesting and contrasting note, but they look like little jewels on the pizzettes. (A little tip: I always leave the jar of pickled blueberries near the pizzettes so people can add more, if they wish…which they did!)
As a sweet little holiday gift, try packaging up little mason jars with holiday ribbons to give these pickled blueberries as gifts for your guests. Try them on bruschetta, in a grilled cheese sandwich, on a savory cheese cake, or whatever strikes your fancy! I know that all my guests loved the flavor combination on the pizzettes, and I hope they’re making their own at home! Hope you will, too!
1 pound of raw pizza dough (from deli section, or pizzeria)
1 1/2 cup of crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1/4 pound of thinly sliced prosciutto
2 cups of pickled blueberries (see recipe below)
1 1/2 cups of fresh arugula
1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for topping (optional)
semolina flour for dusting surface
1.) Preheat oven to 550 degrees and place pizza stone on the lowest rack (may use baking sheet if you do not have a pizza stone).
2.) Lightly flour a clean working surface with semolina flour (may substitute all purpose flour).
3.) Divide the dough into six evenly sized balls and roll out to thin circles about 5 inches in diameter each. Set aside on parchment paper (3 pizzettes per parchment piece)..
4.) Combine the heavy cream and 1/2 cup of crumbled gorgonzola and heat for about 30 seconds in the microwave to melt the gorgonzola into the cream. Stir to incorporate.
5.) Divide the gorgonzola cream mixture among the six pizza dough rounds and spread to a thin coat.
6.) Scatter the mozzarella and remaining gorgonzola cheeses on top.
7) Tear the prosciutto slices into large pieces and scatter among the pizza doughs.
8.) Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the pickled blueberries and drain excess liquid using a strainer, or colander. Press gently with the back of the spoon to extract any excess pickling liquid.
9.) Arrange mounds of pickled blueberries on each pizzette, then using a pizza peel slide the parchment with the pizzettes onto the peel, then onto the heated pizza stone.
10.) Bake for about 7-8 minutes, or until you see the pizzettes starting to brown and crisp.
11.) Remove pizza from oven with the pizza peel and allow to cool a few minutes on a baking rack. Scatter with fresh arugula and serve with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for topping.
Recipe for Pickled Blueberries:
1 cup of vinegar
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. of kosher sea salt
1 1/4 pound of winter fresh blueberries
Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar and stir until the salt and sugar dissolves. Pour winter fresh blueberries into a large mason jar, or jar large enough to accommodate. Pour pickling mixture over blueberries and refrigerate overnight.