Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Strawberry and Dandelion Blossom Day

A Strawberry and Dandelion Blossom Day

A trip into Hopkinsville ended with Dandelion Blossom Jelly and Strawberry Salsa. The farmers market comes Wednesdays and Saturdays. I won’t be here Saturday, so I jumped at the opportunity to see the difference between a small town farmers market and the ones that come to Chicago.

It was a nice little area in the town square of Hopkinsville, KY. Not many vendors, probably because the weather has ruined most crops. What was there was in such good shape I imagine it was greenhouse produce. Fairly large strawberries, very large tomatoes, and preserves.  At the end of May, when land is soaked, a day of warm sunshine followed by a night of frost and several day of cool, cool, cool. I don’t think even cold-frames would produce that type of harvest so early in the season. Yeah, greenhouse. With the drastic effects of climate change the past few years, I don’t begrudge a farmer doing what he needs to do to support his family.

At the end of the tables was a nice older lady with a bowl of something red that she was passing out with the dipper type tortilla chips. As we got closer, we saw it was salsa. Since we hadn’t eaten yet, we all reached quickly for the salty flute cups filled and waiting for us. The salsa popped. Salty and sweet, with a kick. Then I saw the sign: Strawberry Salsa. I grabbed a few recipe cards, all the ingredients and while my friends made tortilla soup, I made the Strawberry Salsa. Later, we had fresh sourdough bread with Dandelion Blossom Jelly.

Unfortunately, there were no recipe cards for the Dandelion Blossom Jelly, but here’s the Strawberry Salsa made from fresh Kentucky Strawberries. Greenhouse or not, it was all delicious. Enjoy.

Strawberry Salsa

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
2 cups chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
½ cup cilantro

  1. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, and salt in bowl.
  2. Add strawberries, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Toss to coat.
  3. Cover and chill for 1 hour
  4. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.
Yield: 7 ½ cups

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