With an ample supply of blueberries for consumers, cookbook author Jennifer Trainer Thompson, who grew up picking blueberries in Maine, says people should experiment with the fruit beyond the usual breakfast and dessert recipes.

Her new book, "Very Blueberry" (Celestial Arts, $5.95), offers several nontraditional recipes including an easy salad of arugula, prosciutto and blueberries with a citrus vinaigrette, and a blueberry salsa to be served with grilled chicken or fish.

For cooking blueberries, such as for a pie filling, she recommends trying frozen wild berries "because they hold their shape so much better."

She even suggests giving blueberries as a wedding present: "A woman I know says she always gives a pair of blueberry bushes to the couple getting married because you need a pair for them to cross-pollinate and produce berries."

Blueberry Salsa

Makes about 1 cup

The sweet heat from this salsa complements grilled fish or chicken. A dash of hot sauce increases its heat. Adapted from Thompson's "Very Blueberry."

1 cup blueberries, coarsely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, stem removed, seeded and diced

1 jalapeno or serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

2 green onions, white and light-green parts only, finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch sugar

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. May keep up to 3 days.

Per serving (1/4 cup): 33 calories, 1 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 150 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Candy Sagon; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com

Blueberry-Walnut Wild Rice Salad

4 servings

Fresh berries, herbs and orange juice are recommended here. This salad may be made up to 2 hours in advance. Adapted from a recipe on the Web site of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (www.blueberry.org).

For the salad:

4 ounces (1/2 cup) coarsely chopped walnuts (may substitute slivered almonds)

1 pint (2 cups) blueberries, washed and drained, stems removed

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon


Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups wild rice or wild- and white-rice combination, cooked and cooled

6 ounces (3/4 cup) cooked turkey or chicken breast, cut into strips or chunks

1 head butter lettuce

1 orange, peeled, seeded and cut into segments

For the salad dressing:

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons chopped thyme

1 tablespoon walnut oil (optional)

For the salad: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, tarragon and salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine. Let stand 15 minutes. Add the rice, chicken or turkey and the toasted walnuts.

For the salad dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, parsley, thyme and the walnut oil, if desired. Pour over the blueberry-rice mixture and toss to combine. Adjust seasonings.

To serve, divide the lettuce and orange segments among individual plates. Top each with some of the blueberry salad mixture. Serve at room temperature.

Per serving: 480 calories, 23 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 29 mg cholesterol, 3 g saturated fat, 113 mg sodium, 7 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Candy Sagon; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com

Maine Blueberry Gateau

6 servings

Janie Hibler, author of "The Berry Bible," makes this recipe often. It comes from the Benjamin F. Packard House, a bed-and-breakfast in Bath, Maine, which serves the dish to guests year-round. Hibler says you may use frozen wild blueberries or fresh blueberries, or a combination of blueberries and raspberries.

1 cup plus 1 teaspoon flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

1 pint (2 cups) blueberries, rinsed and drained (may substitute frozen wild blueberries)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan and dust with flour. (You can also make this cake in a 9-inch-round cake pan that has been greased and dusted with flour, and lined on the bottom with parchment paper.)

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with the baking powder and salt, and set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high to high speed, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and continue beating until well blended. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour and the lemon juice. Spoon the berry mixture over the batter.

Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. If using a springform pan, slide a thin knife around the edges of the cake to release it from the pan before you release and remove the springform. (If using a cake pan, slide a thin knife around the edges of the cake and invert it onto a cake rack. Transfer the cake to a platter, berry side up.)

Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Per serving: 402 calories, 5 g protein, 59 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 112 mg cholesterol, 10 g saturated fat, 222 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Candy Sagon; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com