Confetti Salsa

For those of you who are little kitchen handicapped, you probably have no idea what to bring to a gathering that will not make you look like…well, that you are kitchen handicapped. The secret to fooling everyone is just to use really great ingredients that will shine no matter what you throw together. Depending upon your skill level, even a simple salsa may feel like it’s over your head. But trust me, it really is not. It is buying and cutting. And seeing as you are reading, I’m guessing you can also accomplish these two things, as well.

I went to my local Farmer’s Market in search of some great ingredients for the next week. What I stumbled upon was this beauty.


So, I will admit, this was a $6 tomato (it weighed in at 1 lb.). BUT. Before you scoff, think about this… When you go to the grocery store, you buy hothouse tomatoes (grown in a dark warehouse) from somewhere else. They traveled a long way to get here. And although they look perfect, they are not yet ripe and delicious and perfect. And when you buy those “perfect” tomatoes, they still cost you $3.99 a pound. A pound is really only 2 or 3 medium tomatoes.

I say, this beautiful, perfectly ripe, local tomato is more along the lines of perfect. What better way to show off the brilliance of your shining Farmer’s Market find than to put it in a dish that features it raw, and happens to be an international favorite: salsa.

To offset the color of the tomato (and correspondingly, the unique flavor), I decided I wasn’t going to put it in a traditional salsa. Here is what I put together.

Confetti Salsa

1# Yellow Tomato (I would choose an Heirloom variety that appeals to you), diced

1 Red Jalapeno or Red Fresno Chile, chopped and de-seeded

1/3 C. Mango, chopped

2 T. Red Onion, chopped

1 T. Cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

This is a sweet salsa, not super spicy. If you prefer more spice, add another chile or put it through the food processor with the seeds. You could even hit it with a dash of lime to change the flavor profile a bit. This portion makes a small bowl, enough for an appetizer for 2-4 depending on the menu. But it will be a big hit so I’d double or triple the recipe. Grab some of your favorite tortilla chips and hit the road. None be the wiser that you were once kitchen handicapped.

Happy sharing!

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Roasted Root (Mostly) Vegetables Over Blackened Greens

It has come to my attention that I have had a bit of a salad obsession recently. Although most of you in the rest of the country are sweating your you-know-whats off, here in the PNW, it began as a cool and overcast day. It really got me craving something warm and delicious and savory. So, even though, by the time I raced home from work it was sunny, my mind was thinking “roasting”. Here is what I put together for you all to feast on, even if only with your eyes because you are way too hot to even THINK about turning your ovens on…

Roasted Root (Mostly) Vegetables Over Blackened Greens

1 Red Potato

1 Carrot

1 Kohlrabi

1 Golden beet

1/2 Onion

1 t. Rosemary, chopped

1/2 C. Cabbage

Greens from Kohlrabi

3-5 Stalks Rainbow Chard

1 Clove Garlic, minced

Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper

Few drops Sesame Oil

1 t. Chives, chopped

1. Chunk the root vegetables to your desired size preference. Remember, the larger the pieces, the longer the roast time. Toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Bake in a shallow baking dish or sheet pan at 400F for about 30 min-1 hour, depending on size and how tender you like your vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 2. Chop greens into manageable sized pieces. Heat a large pot on the stove, adding olive oil and a bit of sesame oil (for sweetness). Continue to stir greens until oil is gone; let greens get a bit charred. Once they are lightly charred, add a bit more oil and the minced garlic. Cover, cooking until mostly steamed.

 

 

 

 

3. Salt and pepper both before combining as they will require different amounts to bring out the flavor. Create a bed of greens with a well in the center. Add roasted vegetables on top and garnish with chives and a bit more rosemary.

This is such a simple, no-brainer meal. Which is why it’s so great. So many other vegetables can be added or replaced or other flavors incorporated.

Some alternative flavors to consider based on your dietary desires: 

Adding bacon or pancetta to the greens. 

Cooking the greens in butter or rendered bacon fat. 

Adding mushrooms to the greens. 

Garnishing with a bit of sour cream. 

Tossing the roasted vegetables in curry or chipotle powder. 

Garnish with Parmesan cheese. 

Adding lemon to the greens. 

Really, the list goes on and on. Get creative. 

I found that the Kohlrabi was the star of the show. It was perfect, however, since that was precisely the vegetable I was trying to get a little creative with. It actually brought back memories from childhood instantly. I didn’t even realize I ate it as a kid until I took a bite of it roasted!

Happy cooking!

Market Love

(Click title for photos to display properly)

I love a market. You know this already. I am an avid fan of supporting any and all local markets, whether a neighborhood Farmer’s Market or a local farm’s vegetable stand/garden store. This week was wonderful because it was full of markets of all sorts. I’ll keep this post simple. It is a blatant advertisement for you to go to your local markets. Here are a few photos to stimulate your senses.

Happy shopping!