I’m new here, so let’s get acquainted, shall we?
Hi, I’m Jenna. A little about me; I love hiking, reading, photography, making healthy snacks and meals for my two kiddos, blog-stalking (yup it’s a problem), eating (mmm…food), exercising (necessary after eating) and playing with my kids and exploring new places with them. Wow that’s a lot for one sentence but hey, that’s me!
I’m lucky enough to call my photography obsession my “job” and I don’t take it for granted one bit. You can see where I spend most of my time and energy over here on my blogsite. I’m totally fine with you blog-stalking me.
You’ll find that I speak better with images than words, so expect lots of images to follow.
So on to the Farmer’s Market in Tucson!
Walking around one of many of our local markets you’ll most definitely find an abundance of:
- hand-weaved baskets
- homemade salsa
- roasted chiles
- grass-fed beef
- prickly pear popsicles
- chiles and peppers
One ingredient that some of you might be unfamiliar with is prickly pears. Prickly pears is a cactus (genus Opuntia) with jointed stems and oval flattened segments, having barbed bristles and large pear-shaped, prickly fruits.
This cactus produces a red or orange like fruit and you peel the outer “prickly” skin off carefully and eat the inside of the fruit. They are sweet and really delicious!
Looking at most of those products, you’ll see how making salsa in Tucson is incredibly popular and common. We have all the ingredients we need and it’s so, so easy. Seriously, I don’t do complicated! I’m going to make it so simple for you, that’s a guarantee!
Why You Should Make Salsa
There are so many reasons why salsa is so loved by so many. Here are just a few:
- Clear your sinuses!!! Hahahaha No, but seriously…
- as a dip for chips, veggies, etc. (Perfect for parties!)
- topping for enchiladas, tacos, burritos, etc.
And lets face it…salsa makes everything taste better!
Why I LOVE shopping at a farmer’s market vs. the grocery store
There are so many reasons why I choose farmer’s markets over grocery stores.
- The wealth of knowledge you get from the vendors is priceless. You may be eager to learn about which herb to use for chronic fatigue or how to cut an onion without crying and all you need is to ask?
- You’re supporting your local economy. It’s like the food chain, when one person is prosperous, it ripples through the community and sustains a healthy level of spending to make your community a better place to live.
- My kids enjoy it and learn so much about food and people. At our local market, there are also musicians playing while you shop, which the littles love and learn from.
- The food is GOOD! Nearly everything is grown organically and can be helpful for those suffering from allergies. Eating 1 Tbls. of local honey daily is a great way to build immunity to irritating pollen.
- You can find unique food items, especially those which are indigenous to your area. Here in Tucson for instance, you can find products such as Mesquite flour and Prickly Pear juice. Prickly Pear juice comes from the liquid squeezed from the fruit of the Prickly Pear Cactus. It’s worth purchasing from a vendor (rather than harvesting the fruit on your own) because it requires some pretty precise filtration since they’re covered in spines!
Ready to see what I did with my goodies from my trip to the market?
Okay, let’s Make Some Salsa!
- 5-6 ripe red tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 white or red onion OR 1 bunch of green onion
- 2-5 serrano or jalapeno peppers (depending on how much kick you want)
- 1/4 cup roasted chiles (or you can roast raw chiles with the rest of the ingredients, but I LOVE the fire-roasted flavor from the ones at my local market.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro
- juice of 2-3 limes
- sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Wash the vegetables. Lay the first 4 ingredients on a cooking sheet that has an edge to keep the oil from dripping. Or, if you’re using raw chiles, they’ll go on the pan as well.
- Coat the vegetables with olive oil and rub the olive oil around the surface of the tomatoes, especially.
- Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes. The tomatoes should be slightly browned and bubbling.
- Take everything out before the onions get too dark.
- Let cool for up to 15 minutes, then use either a food processor or blender to mix ingredients together.
- Mix in cilantro and lime, then add salt to taste. Easy right?
April’s Mini Series ~ A Look Into Farmers’ Markets Around The Country
So for the month of April, we will be taking a trip around the country to share with you different farmers’ markets around the country. How cool is that?
Every farmers’ market has something unique to that market and to that area. We are going to dive into that.
Here is a list of the farmers’ markets that we are going to explore:
- Tucson AZ ~ April 2 Countrywide Farmers’ Markets ~ A Peek Into Tucson, AZ: Roasted Salsa – It Has A Kick!
- Seattle ~ April 4 Countrywide Farmers’ Markets ~ A Peek Into Seattle And Why Raw Cultured Butter (Homemade from the Farmers’ market) Is So Good For Us
- Florida ~ April 9 Countrywide Farmers’ Markets ~A Peak Into Florida and Boiled Peanuts
- South Carolina ~ April 11 Countrywide Farmers’ Market ~ Local Produce and Farm Share Boxes
- Phoenix AZ ~ April 16 Countrywide Farmers’ Markets ~ A Peek Into Phoenix, AZ: Handspun Wool and Prickly Pear Syrup
- Missouri ~ April 18 Countrywide Farmers’ Markets ~ A peek Into Missouri and A Farmers Market Expo
- Washington DC ~ April 23 DC Farmers’ Markets Plus A Recipe With Wild Greens (Nettles, Dandelions, Mustard Greens)
- Wisconsin ~ April 25 Countrywide Farmers’ Markets ~ A Peak Into the Dane County Farmer’s Market….And A Delicious Asparagus Recipe
So come back often this month to enjoy our trip around the country and all the unique finds that we find at our local farmers markets.
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Now tell us, what unique way do you use salsa in your cooking?