Friday, June 12, 2009


[n. kom-pluh-muhnt; v. kom-pluh-ment]

1. something that completes or makes perfect

Everyone loves a compliment and cheese is no exception ... except that what cheese *really* loves is a complement.

Sweet and Savory Blueberry Conserve:
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fruit vinegar (such as raspberry or fig)
  • 1 tbsp. pure honey
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh orange or lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh orange or lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. minced red onion or shallot
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • generous grating of fresh black pepper
  • 8 to 10 large basil leaves, crushed a bit between your palms
In a small sauce pan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring on occasion, until the blueberries have broken down and thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or a dash more fresh orange juice if desired. Cool. Carefully remove the cinnamon stick and any large pieces of basil from the jam. Pour into a container and store, covered, in fridge until needed.

As written this recipe will yield about 1 cup of conserve, give or take.

Strange combination? Indeed. But yummy to be sure. Its the result of a trip through my fridge and the need to use up some blueberries and basil. The finished jam will not taste strongly of basil, but its there like a soft whisper in the background. Blueberries and citrus have a natural affinity, so feel free to use either orange or lemon here - and the red onion or shallots will offer just enough bite to keep things interesting.

Think of this conserve as you would a cranberry sauce. It would be marvelous when paired with some grilled pork or chicken; and equally good as a topper for a turkey sandwich. When paired with a luscious, creamy Camembert (as seen above) or a tart goat's milk cheese it is outstanding!

A quality Camembert is delicious on its own to be sure, but why not guild the lily? Cheese and fruit is a classic combo - and cheese paired with a fruit conserve is classic writ large. Like really, really LARGE.

So, do you like to complement your cheese? Or do you prefer to just tell it its' pretty and leave it at that? Hungry Diva wants to know.

Bon appetit!


The Duo Dishes said...

This is somewhat similar to a blackberry reduction we put on brie. Your grammatics are right...cheese loves a compliment and a complement. We'll pair it up with anything we can.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Diva, your hubby is a lucky man indeed, dont let him forget it! That looks delish!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Duo - yes, blackberries would be so good done up like this as well. Will def. try it!

HH - he will feel lucky when I allow him to eat cheese tonight! LOL Kidding ... but we do watch his cholesterol ... this is a once in a while treat. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a wonderful and intriguing concoction! I would definitely love that with my camembert!

nora@ffr said...

yummm sound delish.. a must try.. thanx for sharing.. my first visit and m loving ye blog very much.. excellent writing and most of all the yummy recipes :) keep it up!!

The Diva on a Diet said...

5 Star - thank you so much! It a bit unusual, but so yummy with any cheese really.

Nora - Welcome! And thank you for the compliments! LOL Looking forward to checking out your blog too. :)

The Wino said...

Now I know what I am going to do with the blue berries I just bought! This looks diva-vine!

The Food Addicts said...

i like to complement my cheese with fruit and crackers too! i think eating cheese alone is good, but can be overwhelming.

pixelgal said...

I hope 'the husband' left some for your weekend visitors. Just don't tell Papa Diva what's in it and he'll love it! See you soon.
Love you lots.

Culinary Wannabe said...

I love to serve cheese when people come over, and usually do a tray of different jams and things alongside. Easiest appetizer ever. This would be a nice way to kick it up a bit. And I love anything blueberry.

The Diva on a Diet said...

The Wino - excellent! You can spice this up anyway you want or sub some other herb for the basil. Play around with it and let me know how you do!

The Food Addicts - all cheese is good, but cheese paired with any fruit or nuts is *really* good. :)

Pixelgal - fear not there'll be plenty leftover ... I'll make sure! Looking forward to the visist and love you back!

Culinary Wannabe - you're right, it is the easiest ever ... and often the most welcome. Who doesn't like cheese?! I love it for dessert too!

doggybloggy said...

I would like to compliment the chef and how can I get one of those complementary knifes?

Anonymous said...

A grammar lesson and a recipe in one post! You are an amazing woman!

I'd like to sample these complements anytime. Preferably with a glass of wine.

Lola said...

It sounds delicious.

Marta said...

hahahah witty, I love it!!! you know, I'm ESL, and only last month did I learn that compliment and complement are different words! Gosh, thank goodness they sort of sound similar, at least I only looked silly when I wrote, not when I spoke... mind you, I'm pretty sure I took care of that in some other ways!
I love cheese platters, with fruits and jams and cured meats and crackers, it's my favourite dinner!

Deb said...

I adore all things cheese - plain or with additives. I like to take cream cheese and pour a good chutney over it for crackers. I love cheddar and crackers. Like I said before - all things cheese. No wonder I'm doomed to SB for life! LOL

Daily Spud said...

Oh I complement my cheeses all the time :) Usually with sweet homemade pickles but I'd be quite happy to complement it with some of this blueberry conserve too!

pixelgal said...

Couldn't get enough of the blueberry stuff with the cheese and crackers. Soooo good.

Jill said...

This combination would make me very happy!

Tangled Noodle said...

You certainly have a way with blueberries! I've never had them prepared with savory flavors but I love the idea of using them as you would cranberry sauce (a definite fave). Can't wait to try this out, too!