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Enjoy homegrown blueberries in summer drink, layered cheese wheel, kebabs, pie

A No-Bake Frozen Blueberry Pie slice is pictured in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Blueberry Council - Tracey Kusiewicz

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A No-Bake Frozen Blueberry Pie slice is pictured in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Blueberry Council - Tracey Kusiewicz

Here are some recipes that make blueberries the star of the meal.

Blueberry Margarita With Cucumber and Basil

Skip the tequila and replace the triple sec with orange juice for an everybody-can-drink-it version of this summer drink.

10 ml (2 tsp) fine sea salt

1 lime wedge

500 ml (2 cups) ice (about 10 cubes)

500 ml (2 cups) blueberries (fresh or partially thawed)

125 ml (1/2 cup) sliced cucumber

125 ml (1/2 cup) tequila

75 ml (1/3 cup) pineapple juice

50 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh basil

45 ml (3 tbsp) triple sec

Garnish

30 ml (2 tbsp) blueberries (fresh or frozen)

4 cucumber slices

4 basil leaves

In a shallow dish, place salt. Using lime wedge, moisten rim of 4 glasses, then dip in salt and set aside.

Starting with ice, place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until relatively smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with blueberries, cucumber slices and basil leaves.

Makes 4 servings (each 250 ml/8 oz).

———

Layered Blueberry Hazelnut Cheese Wheel

A spin on baked brie wrapped in phyllo pastry, this appy skips the pastry and baking and uses the heat of the blueberry compote to soften the cheese. Serve with fresh fruit and crackers.

350 g (12 oz) brie, camembert or any soft rind cheese (13-cm/5-inch round)

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) blueberries (fresh or frozen)

50 ml (1/4 cup) red wine

30 ml (2 tbsp) balsamic vinegar

45 ml (3 tbsp) brown sugar

15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon zest

10 ml (2 tsp) lemon juice

Pinch each salt and black pepper

1 sprig fresh rosemary

125 ml (1/2 cup) hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Cut cheese round in half horizontally. Place bottom half, cut side up, on a serving platter. Set aside at room temperature with the top half of cheese.

In a saucepan, bring blueberries, red wine, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until reduced to a thick compote.

Add entire rosemary sprig in last 2 minutes of cooking, then remove.

Spoon half the hot compote over bottom half of cheese. Cover with top half of cheese, cut side down, and top with remaining compote and hazelnuts.

Makes 1 wheel and 750 ml (3 cups) compote.

———

Quick Blueberry Lamb KebabsWith Yogurt Cucumber Mint Sauce

These quick-to-fix kebabs can be popped on the grill or baked in the oven. Serve with pita bread.

Kebabs

Oil, for greasing skewers

500 g (1 lb) lean ground lamb

250 ml (1 cup) blueberries (fresh or frozen), roughly chopped

50 ml (1/4 cup) very finely diced shallots

15 ml (1 tbsp) crushed garlic

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh mint

5 ml (1 tsp) finely grated lemon zest

10 ml (2 tsp) ground cumin

10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

5 ml (1 tsp) black pepper

5 ml (1 tsp) mild smoked paprika

5 ml (1 tsp) hot chili flakes or powder (optional)

Pinch ground cloves

Yogurt Cucumber Mint Sauce

250 ml (1 cup) Greek or Balkan 10 per cent fat yogurt

125 ml (1/2 cup) grated seeded cucumber

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh mint

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh dill

15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) black pepper

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F). If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 10 minutes.

Grease a baking sheet and 12 flat 15-cm (6-inch) skewers with vegetable oil.

In a bowl, mix together kebab ingredients. With wet hands, form lamb mixture into oblong sausage shapes around the top ends of the oiled skewers.

Place on baking sheet and bake on top rack of heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes; finish on broil to brown for another 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, barbecue over medium heat for 15 to 18 minutes.

Mix yogurt sauce ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.

Serve kebabs with sauce.

Makes 12 kebabs and 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) sauce.

———

No-Bake Frozen Blueberry Pie

Here's a classic blueberry dessert that's gluten-free and needs no baking. You'll want to stick with the 11 per cent yogurt to ensure best results for this one.

Crust

125 ml (1/2 cup) almonds (whole or sliced)

250 ml (1 cup) chopped pitted dates

50 ml (1/4 cup) unsweetened finely shredded coconut

45 ml (3 tbsp) butter, melted

30 ml (2 tbsp) maple syrup

5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon

5 ml (1 tsp) finely grated orange zest

Pinch salt

Filling

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) blueberries (fresh or frozen)

250 ml (1 cup) plain 11 per cent Greek yogurt

50 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup

50 ml (1/4 cup) cream cheese, room temperature

45 ml (3 tbsp) whipping cream

15 ml (1 tbsp) finely grated orange zest

15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh orange juice

Topping

Fresh blueberries

Maple syrup

Crust: Line bottom and sides of a 23-cm (9-inch) pie dish with parchment paper.

In a food processor, pulse almonds until finely ground but not a paste. Add dates, coconut, butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, orange zest and salt; pulse until finely ground. Press crust into bottom and up sides of lined pie dish; set aside at room temperature.

Filling: In a blender, puree blueberries, yogurt, maple syrup, cream cheese, whipping cream, orange zest and orange juice until smooth. Pour filling into pie dish and freeze for 2 to 3 hours.

Once frozen, remove parchment paper to slice.

Top with fresh blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Pie is best enjoyed within 3 to 8 hours.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: BC Blueberry Council.

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