At the West End Alexandria Farmers Market August 3, 2008

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(purple tomatillos at the West End Alexandria farmers market)

We caught a nice break from the usual summer heat this weekend. Sunday morning was glorious and a trip to the farmers market seemed like just the thing to do. Around 9:30a.m., a decent crowd was busy milling through the farmers market at Ben Breneman Park. Farm stands mingled with artists, as they do on the first Sunday of each month that the market is open.

One thing that one notices about this market is how laid back it is. The market master happily greats dogs and no one looks askance if you decide to bringĀ  your four-legged friend. There are no crushing lines, and strollers glide up and down the aisle with ease.

On the produce front, it’s allĀ about corn, tomatoes, peppers and stone fruit right now. Westmoreland Berry Farm still had blackberries and even raspberries and blueberries–rather late in the season. J&W’s produce looked as fresh as can be, with a sign for their corn say ‘$.50 each/3 for $1–just picked last evening’. So, I bought a half dozen ears of their super sweet white corn. At another stand, tomatoes were selling for $2.75 per pound and across the way, a vendor had big, thick Roman string bean (sometimes called Italian string beans) that I couldn’t pass up. My family grew these beans in our summer garden, and growing up they were a staple on the table at this time of year.

I also bought large nectarines and jalapenos because I could feel a salsa coming on! And well, here it is. I simply used my Cuisinart to blend 2 tomatoes, a peeled and pitted nectarine, a half of a red onion, one jalapeno and some fresh parsley. I added a pinch of smoked paprika and about half a palm-full of cumin along with the usual S&P and got a HUGE amount of salsa!

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Nothing says summer like fresh salsa with ingredients that came right out of the field.

Until the next At The Market, eat and buy local when you can. As and added incentive, read The Arugula File’s post on Virginia’s Farmers Market Week. This week, try to eat only local for one day.

17 Responses to “At the West End Alexandria Farmers Market August 3, 2008”

  1. I love the West End market, it really is laid back. Glad to hear that white corn is being sold there since John just informed me that white corn is his favorite (after I’ve been buying bi-color all this time!). Oh, and I LOVE salsa– your’s looks delicious.

  2. RE: eating local challenge

    You should get a video flip phone and enter the contest. I actully was thinking of your website when I was reading about the contest.

  3. I almost forgot to add that the salsa looks delicious.

  4. Thanks Tiffany and Mary– Salsa is so easy and healthy even! I’m glad you wrote about farmers market week.

  5. oh my gosh, those tomatillos are beautiful!

  6. Thanks sweetbird–welcome to The Houndstooth Gourmet!

  7. Wow – those are gorgeous – I’ve never seen them before!

  8. Purple tomatillos! They look good.

  9. I have never seen purple tomatillos before! Your salsa looks delicious!

  10. I’ve only cooked with tomatillos once and they were plain green ones! Thanks for sharing the photos of the purple ones. And thanks to Tastespotting for posting your photo ;)

  11. Those purple tomatillos are stunning. All your pics have pop.

  12. Do you remember which stand had these tomatillos? I looked for them today but no one seemed to remember them. I NEED to make purple salsa…. HELP!

  13. They were 2 stands away from On The Gourmet (same side). I didn’t make it to the Sunday market, so I’m not sure if they still had them. They were just gorgeous, tho.

  14. Ramona- the stand is called “Norma’s Farms” but they don’t have a sign. They only had green tomatillos on Sunday. . . I looked for the purple ones too!

  15. this salsa sounds great- love the addition of nectarine!

  16. Thanks Tiffany…I went to Old Town last Saturday and bought so much great produce. And now, I’m sick and not in the mood to eat one bit of it.
    Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in soon and I’ll get my food etc. posted.
    :-(

  17. I’m sorry to hear that Ramona. I gave you a shoutout in my post today for your post on “On the Gourmet.” I hope you feel better soon!

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