Who says us Northerners can’t get our
Bar-Be-Que on? (Even if I had to google for the correct spelling.) OK I’ll admit, traditional Southern/Texan BBQ sauce feels more foreign to me than Indian Curry, French Beurre Blanc or Mexican Molé. But this blueberry BBQ sauce is easy, fresh tasting and just wonderful over a healthy protein like salmon, bringing wonderful BBQ flavor to a Yankee table.
Plus I love pairing proteins with fruit, and I adore recipes that highlight peak produce in savory dishes. This works so well on many levels. The fresh blueberries provide the perfect amount of sweet balanced by the tangy balsamic and apple cider vinegars with a little kick from a dash of Worcestershire and red pepper flakes. Slathered on buttery salmon it’s truly an ideal, healthy weeknight summer meal. I am sure this would be equally fantastic spooned over grilled pork loin, perhaps in place of the peaches I used here.
I’d seen this recipe on a couple other favorite food blogs (see sources below) and am glad I jumped on the bandwagon. I served this over Fresh Corn Polenta with some simply grilled zucchini slices.
blueberry bbq salmon
- 2 8oz salmon filets
- kosher salt/ground pepper
- olive oil
- 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbs grated onion
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1. Pat salmon dry on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In medium saucepan, heat blueberries over medium-low heat until they begin to soften and some burst, about 10 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash some of them, then add the ketchup, vinegars, brown sugar, garlic, onion, mustard, Worcestershire and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine, then increase heat to medium. Stirring often, cook until the sauce begins to bubble, then lower the heat back to medium low. Continue to cook over low heat until the sauce has thickened, another 10-15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron pan or grill pan or prepare an outdoor grill. Drizzle salmon with olive oil and cook, skin side up, 4 minutes. Flip and brush the salmon with some the blueberry sauce and cook second side until done, depending on thickness of fish, anywhere from another 2-5 minutes. Fish should still be slightly pink in the center – do not overcook.
Serve with extra blueberry sauce on the side and Fresh Corn Polenta if you like.