When I was a child I grew up on the West Yorkshire moors in a village called Wainstalls. Wainstalls was sprawled over quite a large area but contained relatively few people for it’s size. It was beautiful, it was picturesque and it was a little bit lonely for a young girl.
However, it came with benefits! Kids in towns and cities had ice-cream vans and playgrounds; kids in the country get the countryside to play in and berry seasons! Okay, so if you are a kid and you really, really think about it you would realise a berry just doesn’t quite cut it when compared against an ice-cream, but the majority of kids aren’t going to sit around with a piece of paper listing the pros and cons of berries to ice-cream. What we did was go berry picking!
Summer was the time of bilberries and strawberries while autumn was blackberries. There was one spot on a hillside where bilberry bush after bilberry bush grew wild. We used to take bags and tupperware and head off to forage. We would sit there picking bilberry after bilberry, collecting them up and stuffing our faces, before heading home in the late afternoon. Behind us there would still be plenty left for the next family to come picking with their tupperware at the ready. The bilberries we collected were often more than we would use in a few days and my mum would freeze them for to use later in the year.
Now I go into the supermarket for my bilberries. I buy the tiniest little tray of blueberries with barely a mouthful of berries contained within and pay some idiotic price for the privilege!
In Avocado and Red Bell Pepper Salad with Bilberries the title claims bilberries rather than blueberries. Please feel free to use either. There are some very, very minor differences between bilberries and blueberries. Bilberries are very slightly smaller, very slightly darker and are a tiny bit more vitamin rich than blueberries. Blueberries were originally from America and were introduced to Europe, while bilberries are natively from Northern Europe. In your local supermarket it is more than likely you are buying blueberries purely because bilberries don’t transport very well. For the purposes of my recipes bilberries and blueberries are the same thing. Whatever you buy or forage, one can be subbed for the other without any difference to the resulting dish.
Avocado and Red Bell Pepper Salad with Bilberries.
- 1 x iceberg lettuce chopped
- 1 x red bell pepper diced
- 1 x avocado diced
- 3 tbsp bilberries (or blueberries)
- 1 x simple lemon vinaigrette
- Mix all the ingredients together.