Savory Blueberry and Caramelized Red Onion Jam
It’s no secret that I love crostini. Put a little deliciousness on a toasty piece of bread and it’s one of my favorite things in the world. It’s easy to prepare and makes you feel fancy, which is a win-win in my book.
I’ve recently decided we should add a weekly crostini-and-salad night to our regular cooking schedule, kind of like people do Taco Tuesdays or Friday night pizza. (Great idea, right?? Who’s with me for crostini night? So many possibilities!)
So for the inaugural crostini night (still not sure what day of the week we’re landing on) I wanted to make a recipe using steak and blue cheese.
But I realized it needed a little extra something on top to balance out the savory, pungent flavors of the other ingredients. It needed a nice, gourmet jam — preferably with some balsamic vinegar or a little red wine in it. And caramelized onions.
My husband (who I’ve nicknamed the Blueberry Monster for his insatiable love of the fruit) suggested adding blueberries. Sounded good to me!
You may think blueberries and onions sound strange together, but sweet and savory jams have seen a huge increase in popularity in the last few years. They actually work really well together, in the right context!
So while this blueberry and red onion jam recipe is not what you want to put between layers of a cake, it’s ohhhhh so good paired with some red meat or blue cheese. I’d use this jam for burgers or serve it with a fancy cheese board.
How to make savory blueberry and red onion jam
I started by caramelizing some finely diced red onion with a few sprigs of fresh thyme to bring out the natural sugars. I chose red onion for its comparatively sweet flavor, the jamminess it has when cooked down, and the red-purple coloring that would add to the lovely hue of the berries.
Once the red onion was caramelized, I added the blueberries, along with some balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar, and red wine. After a few minutes of simmering, the vinegar and wine are reduced, and the blueberries are tender and ready to pop. I popped the blueberries, added just a splash of lemon juice, and gave it a good stir. It was a little syrupy when warm, but it thickened up nicely in the fridge!
The end result was a luscious blueberry and red onion jam with a well-balanced and decadent sweet-and-savory flavor. Just what I had envisioned! It was sweet enough to contrast with the blue cheese but with all kinds of complex and savory undertones.
Blueberry and onion jam uses
So what do you do with this unique blueberry and caramelized onion jam recipe? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use as a topping for burgers
- Add to a cheese board (especially good paired with blue cheese!)
- Top crostini (like this blue cheese and steak crostini!)
- Use as a sauce for pork chops or grilled chicken
- Use as a spread for a turkey or ham and cheese sandwich
- Add to bbq sauce
- Spread over cream cheese for a party dip
- Slather over biscuits or on fried chicken
- Top a cornbread waffle
- Spread it on savory scones
For more delicious crostini ideas, check out these recipes:
- Blue cheese and steak crostini with blueberry and caramelized red onion jam
- Fig and olive tapenade crostini with walnuts
- Crostini with brie and fresh blackberries
- Ricotta crostini with blueberries, walnuts, thyme, and honey
Savory Blueberry and Red Onion Jam
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion diced (about 2 cups)
- several sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, salt, pepper, and thyme, and reduce to medium low. Cook for 30 -35 minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally.
- Add blueberries, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and red wine and cook until berries are enlarged and about to burst and liquid is reduced, about 5-10 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir, smashing berries. Remove thyme stems.
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Spoon into a clean jar and refrigerate until thickened. Use to top crostini or burgers.
I’m into scones too. What about a rosemary / goat cheese scone with this chutney? I need to go bake something NOW!!!
Looking forward to making this very soon. Our family has a blueberry farm here in South Jersey and I am a baker. I have exhausted the sweet blueberry recipes and I am now testing and tasting savory ones. Your husband is a smart guy…blueberries are the perfect fruit – simple yet indulgent, delicious yet healthy, small but mighty! Thank you for a recipe that looks to be something very special.
Blueberries are wonderful! We go through so many, and our 14-month-old daughter is a huge fan now too. I’m imagining this jam on a cheddar cheese scone or biscuit now and I bet it would be great! Let me know what you think of the recipe!
This is AMAZING thank you. I made this actually for a homemade pizza sauce. Topped it with goat cheese and more thyme! It was untraditional and many questioned me but when they bit into it they loved it.
Awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing and I’m so glad your friends loved it!
This is outstanding! I made it last weekend for a challenge and have had it with goat cheese on an English muffin for breakfast most days this week. I made one for my parents to try yesterday and they loved it! Now gearing up for a double batch!
That sounds like an incredible breakfast idea! I love breakfasts that aren’t too sweet. I’ll have to try this!
Would this still work with frozen blueberries?
I haven’t tried it with frozen blueberries but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work!
Can I preserve this jam in a water bath canner? It sounds delicious!
Hi Marilyn! I’m afraid I don’t know much about shelf-stable canning so I unfortunately can’t give you an answer to that. It would work as a freezer jam though, if you wanted to freeze some for later!
My husband could be referred to as the “Blueberry Monster II.” I wanted to make him a savory breakfast casserole with blueberries and I was wondering what veggies go with blueberries. This will work perfectly because he also loves red onions! Thanks.
I hope your breakfast casserole is outstanding and that your Blueberry Monster II loves it!
If you’re done with the sweet blueberry desserts but still have some on hand – this is amazing with goat cheese on a cheese plate! Looking forward to trying it on a burger!
That’s so awesome! Both of those are great ideas! Thanks for your comment!
The pictures are amazing. I love blueberries so much but prefer to eat them fresh as can be. I’m amazed to learn that blueberries and onions go sooo good together. I would never have thought of this combination. I think it would be perfect as part of a meat and cheese plate and would be good on absolutely everything grilled (or probably on hot dogs and even scrambled eggs). The next time I have plenty of blueberries, I’m giving this a try. Thank you for the recipe. Got so much inspiration. Your blog is fantastic, and I appreciate all the hard work that goes into it.
Thanks so much, Ann! Your comment really made my day! This jam is definitely great for a meat and cheese plate, or as a gourmet burger topping. Hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to make it!