Wild blueberries love periods of hot, dry weather, alternated with lots of rain. Sound familiar? Experts expect the wild blueberry season to arrive a little earlier than usual this summer, so we thought we’d give you a head’s up. The peak season for these power-packed little gems is late July and August, so get out your hand rake, head on up to Muskoka, do some limbering up and start pickin’ and grinnin’!
Last year we did a post on wild blueberries that was a big hit with our readers, so we think it’s fair that we alert you all to a few “Blueberry Socials” coming up soon. You won’t want to miss out.
One of Toronto’s favourite destinations is the Evergreen Brickworks, and they are hosting a Wild Blueberry Festival on August 25. This year, among other activities, the event boasts a Blueberry Wine and Beer Garden, and a Wild Blueberry Pie Contest judged by you! So circle that date on your calendar.
Now if you can’t wait until late August, get yourself on down to The Drake Hotel on Monday, July 29 for a Wild Blueberry Bacchanal hosted by yours truly. The evening will feature blueberry dishes prepared by some of Toronto’s top chefs and pastry chefs, and blueberry infused cocktails made by The Drake’s mixologists. Come out and try wild blueberry treats by Tori Vaccher of Tori’s Bakeshop, Farzam Fallah of Richmond Station, Heather Mordue of L’Unita and Michelle Edgar from The Sweet Escape.
In the meantime, here is a recipe for a delicious and ridiculously healthy salad courtesy of our friends at wildblueberries.com to help you beat the heat and get you in a blueberry mood.
Fennel Salad with Wild Blueberries
3 bulbs of fennel, julienned
1 ½ (120g) cups arugula
1 cup (150g) wild blueberries
3 oranges, segmented, juice reserved
½ cup (75g) walnut halves, coarsely chopped
Reserved orange juice from Fennel Salad recipe
2-3 tbsp (15-30ml) honey
¼ cup (60ml) tbsp fruit or red wine vinegar
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, except for olive oil.
2. Gradually whisk olive oil in bowl until combined. Set aside until assembly.
1. When ready to serve, place all ingredients in the same bowl as Orange Dressing.
2. Gently toss to combine and serve.
Preparation Time: approx. 30 minutes. Serves 4.