Recipe tests: Blueberry ginger jam and chimichurri

  • By Katie Mayer, Herald staff
  • Wednesday, August 14, 2013 12:40pm
  • Life

Every year, I vow to make the most of summer fruits and vegetables, and every year when the time comes to get in the kitchen and live up to that vow, I end up taking a nap or a hike or a trip to get ice cream instead.

But this week, motivated by the kind of desperation that only a person who has picked 18 pounds of blueberries and purchased a giant bouquet of parsley can feel, I found the gumption to try a couple new recipes — one sweet and one very, very savory.

Let’s start with the sweet: this small-batch blueberry ginger jam recipe over at Food in Jars. I’ve made jam only once or twice before, with someone else, and this was a perfect recipe for my first solo effort. The recipe has several virtues:

First, if you, like me, have gone a little crazy at the u-pick blueberry farms recently, it will help you use up some of that loot in a hurry.

Second, it is easy.

Third, it is fast.

Fourth, it doesn’t even require pectin.

Fifth, it makes such a small batch, about a pint or a pint and a half, that there’s no need to can it. I am not yet a canner, so I stashed a half-pint jar of it in the fridge and froze two more. Beware: Once the jam was done cooking, my stove resembled a Jackson Pollock painting from all the purple splatter, so maybe factor in a little cleanup time or perhaps be more attentive than I was to the vigor with which your jam is boiling.

And now, the savory: chimichurri. This sauce, made with parsley, oregano, vinegar and garlic, is a bit like pesto but with the flavor turned way, way up. I first learned about it a few years ago when I read Tara Austen Weaver’s “The Butcher and the Vegetarian,” and I’ve been meaning to make it ever since. Now that I have, I wish I’d started making it ages ago. It’s often used as a sauce or marinade with steak or other meats, but, not being a big meat eater, I poured some on my veggie sandwich for the perfect extra kick. It would also be good drizzled on a bean salad, on potatoes, on tacos … I could go on. And on. Instead, how about a recipe?

The Internet is overflowing with chimichurri recipes, and, as far as I can tell, every one of them is different. I ended up tinkering with this recipe at Chow, partly for personal taste, partly because it seemed to call for an overly dramatic quantity of olive oil, and partly because I didn’t have pepper or red pepper flakes and was too lazy to acquire them. My adapted recipe is below. You may wish to double whatever recipe you choose and stash some sauce away for later; much like pesto, chimichurri apparently freezes well. A little goes a long way, so I recommend freezing it in ice-cube trays or very small jars.

Chimichurri

(adapted from Chow.com recipe)

2 cups Italian parsley

3-4 garlic cloves, peeled

3-4 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used habanero sauce)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Wash parsley, chop off the thick bottom stems (the small stems between leaves are OK) and dry it thoroughly. Put parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, hot sauce and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Next, with the processor running, pour in the olive oil and process until combined. Store in an airtight container, or pour into ice-cube trays and freeze.

More in Life

How did 300 feathers get stuck in that old utility pole?

Artful adornment in Everett is the creation of a retired Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Herb Alpert aims to uplift the world in two recent albums

The Tijuana Brass bandleader releases a Christmas record and an album of covers.

Slick new V6 engine, safety updates boost Nissan Pathfinder

The SUV’s extensive redesign boosts towing capacity and adds driver assistance technology.

Prioritizing permanence and putting down roots

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I’m at a loss… Continue reading

Foo Fighters bounce back with new album ‘Concrete and Gold’

Foo Fighters, “Concrete and Gold”: Can you hate the Foo Fighters? Not… Continue reading

Taking a service dog on the trail

Tenley Lozano hikes with her service dog, Elu. They have section-hiked the… Continue reading

‘Fixer Upper’ couple say they’re ending popular HGTV show

Chip and Joanna Gaines says season beginning in November will be the last one.

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Most Read