blueberry barbecue sauce

It’s finally time around here where the berries are diminishing and the stone fruits are popping up in every direction.  If you can believe it this dry + hot state produces some of the most delectable fruit I have ever tasted.

Normally, you will find me shoveling berries—or any fruit, really—into my mouth by the handful.  I rarely cook or bake with fruit.  I much prefer fruit in its raw state.

Once in awhile I do crave grilled fruit or incorporate it into a recipe but it’s rare. 

I’ve put fruit in guacamole, in cornbread, and on top of an avocado sandwich to name a few.

And now?  I’m putting a savory spin on blueberries with a blueberry barbecue sauce.

And I’m spreading it practically everything.

Creamy polenta seemed like an obvious choice as layer number one.

Followed by a pile of grilled tofu and a heaping scoop of this sauce.

Sweet + savory with a subtle kick of heat.

light comparison – I took nearly the same shot above and below using two different lighting approaches. {above – backlit} {below – sidelight from the right} I much prefer the backlit photo in this scenario.

Print this!

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce 

vegan, gluten-free // yields 1 1/4 cup // adapted from Food and Wine

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced jalapeno, seeded
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  1. Set a med-large pot over medium heat with the oil. 
  2. Once hot add in the onion and jalapeno, stirring frequently for 6-8min until the mixture starts to soften and turn light brown.
  3. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds then add all other ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to simmer [uncovered] for about 20-25min until it reduces and starts to thicken.
  5. Take off the heat and partially blend with an immersion [hand] blender.  *You can also leave it as is [without blending] or use a blender to make the sauce completely smooth.
  6. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or smoke flavor if desired.  For extra heat add cayenne pepper.
  7. Let sit for 5 minutes as it will continue to thicken.

notes: Jalapenos can vary in their level of spice.  I used 2 Tbsp [seeded] and it left the sauce with a mild-medium bite.  I used a combination of liquid smoke [original] and smoked paprika but feel free to use just one or the other. 

For the polenta:  Bring 1c unsweetened almond milk and 2 cups water to a boil.  Stir in 1 cup of polenta grits until combined, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.  Uncover and stir the mixture until creamy and thick, ~2 minutes.

For the tofu:  Slice the tofu into 8 triangular slabs about 1/4” thick and press them between two kitchen towels [with books stacked on top] for 20 minutes.  Lightly grease all sides of the tofu with oil and sprinkled salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika on both sides.  Heat your grill to about 400 degrees.  Once hot, thoroughly grease the grill grates to avoid sticking.  Grill the tofu for 5-8min per side to reach a crispy exterior and soft interior.  More tofu grilling instructions can be found here.

Dinner was great.  Lunch will be even better.

If you want to read more scoop about my adventures in food + blogging, check out my interview with The Food Network’s Healthy Eats: Blogger Spotlight.  Quite thrilled about this!

Also, I made a fun animation from some of the wedding photos.  You can see it here.


iPhone capture