Working With What You Have: Blueberries & Peaches

FRUIT-FILLED MENU: Avocado Quesadillas with Peach Salsa; Chicken Marbella; Blueberries in Lemon Cream

On Friday, Phoebe opined on one of the best ways to use up summer vegetables (zucchini and scallions; fry them into patties). Today, I’ve got another aspect of summer’s bounty on my plate–two kinds of fruit–and they’re figments of Phoebe’s worst nightmare. She is, as you may or may not know yet, our resident fruit hater.

Last summer, I combined the plentiful peach harvest with the almost-as-abundant blueberry yield into a pie that was enjoyed, even by Phoebe, without any fruit apathy at all. Just two weekends ago, I made a similar dessert: blueberry and peach crisp, which we ate, topped with vanilla ice cream, after a lobster dinner. Both desserts were delicious. Peaches and blueberries combine well in sweet things, I’ve apparently discovered.
But to pigeonhole them as fruits that go together, and only in sweets, would be unnecessary. I’ve been using them separately, of course, and in savory dishes too. (I’m curious if anyone has a recipe for blueberry chicken, by the way? It sounds like it’d be good.)
My mom invented this peach salsa at the beginning of peach season. We’ve been making it a lot since then, to top poached cod and roasted chicken, and to use instead of tomato salsa or pico de gallo in tacos (especially good with grilled flank steak tacos). My mom thinks it’s the abundance of fresh herbs (mint and basil) and freshly ground pepper that makes this sauce so good, while Jill and I think it’s the sugar.
The blueberries are my own creation. I was having my old roommate Lisa over for dinner, and I had the tacos with peach salsa all ready to go. But the Q train decided to pause, and Lisa texted, saying she’d be late. I hadn’t been sure I would serve dessert, but with the extra time, I decided I had to. The blueberries that week were ethereal: large, firm, and extraordinarily sweet. I made some lightly whipped, lemon-flavored cream to eat with them, and when I still had more time, I went on to make simple candied walnuts as a topping. The result was a simple dessert, the kind of thing you make when the fruit is perfect, since it shows off the blueberries like nothing else.
From my kitchen, in love with the fruits of the season, to yours,

Blueberries in Lemon Cream

Serves 2

This cream lies on the softer side of whipped cream, and it’s made slightly tangy by the addition of sour cream and lemon zest, which complements the blueberries perfectly.


1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup heavy cream, very cold
1 tablespoon sour cream
zest from half a lemon
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon chopped candied walnuts (you can also use plain toasted walnuts)
Rinse the blueberries and pick out any soft ones. Set them aside.
Beat the whipped cream with the sour cream, lemon zest, and confectioners’ sugar. You want it to be thickened, but not overly fluffy. Set aside.
Chop the candied walnuts.
Arrange the cream in two small bowls. Top each with half the blueberries, then sprinkle with the candied walnuts. Serve immediately.

Peach Salsa
Makes 2 cups

4 peaches, in a 1/4″ dice
juice of 1 lemon or 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs: cilantro, basil, or mint, or a combination
generous grind of black pepper

Combine the peaches, lemon juice, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of the herbs, and the black pepper. Stir to combine.

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, and up to several hours. Taste for salt, and add more lemon juice or sugar to make the salsa as sweet or tangy as you like it.

Serve with grilled meats, on sandwiches, or in a taco buffet.

  • Ott, A

    Have you thought about canning your salsa?? I am hosting a Canning Week Blog Party next week with lots of tips, recipes, and give-a-ways all related to canning. I hope it will encourage and educate a lot of bloggers about canning and be some fun as well. Hope you can stop by and check it out.

  • Laura

    We just picked a couple gallons worth of blueberries today!!- and that blueberry dish w/ the lemon cream sounds amazing! we’re definitely going to have to try it.. plus that salsa sounds super delish too!

  • kate

    You know, Kate thinks that mom’s peach salsa is delicious, too! The blueberry dessert looks amazing, and I love how quickly you can whip it up. After long days of lesson planning, teaching, and tennis in 100 degree weather, this sounds like I could actually put together a dessert without too much effort! I can’t wait to try it. Also, Bates College had a blackberry chicken–it was blackberry BBQ sauce, and I bet it’d be good with blueberries, too!

  • Vanessa @ The Weekly Yogi

    This looks pretty good. I am adding it to my recipe stash – thanks!

    – Vanessa

  • Lainey_Elizabeth

    YUMM! I am from Georgia, so obviously I love Peach Salsa. I have only used cilantro, never basil or mint in mine. I want to give it a try! Awesome idea.

    Oh and I totally posted a recipe for a casserole on Friday…I thought about you as I was typing “can of soup”…

  • Lkgoodrich

    Those blueberries WERE really good! But it says something about the accoutrements that I was more excited about the cream…

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