With a fridge full of blackberries after our berry pickin’ excursion, we pulled out the cookbooks and scoured the internet for delish ways to put them to use.  It’s been a blackberrypalooza around these parts this week!

Blackberry Vinaigrette
1 c blackberries
1 small shallot, chopped
1 t white balsamic vinegar
1 t honey
1/8 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
Process blackberries in blender until smooth.  Strain into a bowl and discard solids.
Process berry puree, shallot and next 4 ingredients in blender for 30 seconds.  With blender running, pour in oil in slow, steady stream and process until smooth.
We paired this with mixed field greens, goat cheese, fresh blackberries and spiced pecans.

Smoked Turkey, Mozzarella and Blackberry Sandwiches

2 c blackberries
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
2 t sugar
1 t lemon juice
2 lbs smoked turkey slices
1/2 lb smoked mozzarella cheese slices
12 sandwich bread slices, toasted
3 T minced fresh sage
Toss berries and next 3 ingredients; let stand 30 minutes.
Layer turkey and cheese evenly on 6 bread slices.
Spoon blackberry mixture evenly over cheese and sprinkle with sage.  Top with remaining bread slices.

Blackberry Sweet Tea
3 c blackberries
1 1/4 c sugar
1 T chopped fresh mint
pinch baking soda
4 c boiling water
2 family size tea bags
2 1/2 c cold water
garnish: blackberries, mint
Combine berries and sugar in large container and crush with wooden spoon; stir in mint and baking soda.
Pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and steep 5 mins.  Discard tea bags.
Pour tea over berry mixture; let stand at room temp 1 hour.  Pour through wire-mesh strainer into large pitcher, discarding solids.  Add cold water, stirring to mix.  Cover and chill. 

Blackberry Mojito
(serves 2)
16 mint leaves
12 fresh blackberries
1 tsp sugar
3 oz white rum
1oz lime juice
club soda
crushed ice
In a pitcher, place mint leaves, berries and sugar and muddle well.  Add rum and lime juice and stir well.  Fill highball glasses with crushed ice and strain drink into glasses.  Top with club soda and garnish with mint and berries.  
Note: I didn’t think this was minty enough or sweet enough.  Next time I will add many, many more mint leaves and a little more sugar.

Blackberry Pie
1 package of refrigerator pie crust for double crust pie
5 c blackberries
1 c sugar
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1/4 t salt
1 T butter
Place bottom crust in pie plate and set aside.
Combine berries and next 4 ingredients and toss well.  Spoon into pie crust and dot with butter.
Cut top crust into strips and arrange in lattice design over berries.  Fold edges under and crimp.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350 and bake 45 more minutes or until crust is browned.
Note: I use the Williams-Sonoma fluted pastry wheel to cut my pretty lattice top.  I also cover the crust edges with aluminum foil when i reduce the heat to 350.  I serve a la mode (is there any other way?).

Pork Medallions with Blackberry Sauce
2 1-lb pork tenderloins
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t ground allspice
1/4 c butter
1/2 c diced shallots (about 3 large)
2/3 c white wine
1 T sugar
10 large blackberries
1/2 t corn starch
Sprinkle pork with salt, pepper and allspice.  Cover and chill 30 minutes.
Grill pork until meat thermometer registers 160.  Remove and let stand 10 minutes.
Add butter, shallots, wine, sugar and blackberries to small saucepan until shallots and berries are soft.  Crush berries as you cook.  Reduce heat to low and whisk in corn starch.  Simmer and stir until thickened.
Cut pork into slices and drizzle with sauce.  Garnish with fresh blackberries.

Happy cooking y’all.
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