so we can eat: alvarez farms & eric’s tomatillo salsa

Tiptoeing through the puddles to the end of November, we have reached the final posting of our “so we can eat” series for the 2012 season, saving our hottest find for this chilly month.

Family-run Alvarez Organic Farms is a welcome year-round presence at the farmers markets. A heavy hitter in the business for at least 20 years, their hard work, dedication and family support makes their delicious produce that much more desirable to their die-hard fans (like us!).

Some of our favorites this year were the feisty-colored Green Zebra tomatoes, and the beautiful array of eggplants, tomatillos and neon-hued hot peppers including Habanero, Jalapeno and Ghost Peppers. Walla Walla onions, garlic and peanuts (yes, peanuts!), are also special items that can be found at their stand at market.

A few weeks ago, we happened upon the last of their tomatillo harvest at Proctor Farmers Market. We were able to find all the ingredients we needed to make our family’s full-bodied tomatillo salsa. Simple and fresh, the following recipe is just right for topping a variety of dishes – from chicken burritos to fried eggs to a simple bowl of rice.

Eric’s Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients

  • 4 Habanero peppers, seeded
  • 4 Serrano peppers, seeded
  • 8 Jalapeno peppers, whole
  • 6 Ancho peppers, whole
  • 2 heads of garlic, cloves peeled
  • 20 tomatillos, whole
  • 4 med Walla Walla onions, caramelized

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 425F. Dry roast all the peppers on a hot skillet, then let them cool slightly. Meanwhile, roast the garlic cloves and tomatillos in the oven at 425F. Blend the dry roasted peppers, oven-roasted garlic, tomatillos and caramelized onions together in a food processor until salsa reaches the desired balance between smooth and chunky.

Keeps fresh in the fridge up to 1 month. Store in an airtight container.

Who were your favorite producers and vendors this year? Would you like to see the “so we can eat” series return for the 2013 season? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Noshing! -wild wren

in hand: what wren is reading

Wren's Reading

Having recently moved with her husband into a tiny flat in town, Wren has finally dug her sewing machine out from storage and is desiring to learn how to sew. And to sew well, if possible.

Stealing moments between applying for jobs in her new city, she is feverishly making toddler-sized ties for her discerning young nephew and finding inspiration in library books about fabrics, sewing, screen-printing and of course, food and love.

Here are the books she (and little Domo, above) is submerged in now:

  1. Lotta Prints
  2. French General: Home Sewn
  3. Material World
  4. The Nest Newlywed Handbook
  5. Print Workshop
  6. Cesar: Recipes from a Tapas Bar
  7. Material Girls
  8. The Liberty Book of Home Sewing
  9. Sew Serendipity: Fresh and Pretty Designs to Make and Wear

What’s on your reading list this week? Share your picks in the comments below!

wild wren

so we can eat: seed jewelry by semilla designs

When indulging in pretty (non-edible) things in the Pacific Northwest, the unique and stylish jewelry crafted from seeds procured from South America by Carolina and Zena of  Semilla Designs are a fave treat of ours.

First loved from a distance through online shopping from the East Coast, now we have the convenience and hands-on browsing that one can only find at a neighborhood farmers market.

Even though Semilla Designs couldn’t finish out the market season to the final closing week, it is clear they do put their heart, soul and talented fingers into making our favorite color-saturated natural baubles.

Until next season, Broadway!–Wild Wren

basil & besos: comfort food, pt. 2

Roasted Cherry Tomato Clafoutis

Rain is returning to the Puget Sound and it is time to get cozy.  Inspired by Aran Goyoaga, the woman behind the beautiful blog Cannelle et Vanille, and her recent appearance in Whole Living, we started our descent into dusky autumn days and heartwarming comfort food by making a version of her Roasted Cherry Tomato Clafoutis based on what we had in the pantry.

We roasted cherry tomatoes from the garden of a sweet and generous neighbor, then whisked together fresh eggs from our chickens, whole milk, white Aussie cheddar and clippings of fresh basil, green onion and parsley herbs from the back porch and poured it carefully over the now caramelized tomatoes and slid it all into the oven.

An intoxicating aroma akin to a rich, deep-dish pizza filled the house as the clafoutis puffed and turned golden-brown.  Less than an hour later, we eagerly waited for the dish to cool. Upon slicing into it, we realized that even with the substitutions, we had stumbled upon a recipe calibrated to provide perfection and flexibility.

With a not-too-eggy texture and flavor that appealed to a one and a half year old and a husband who is not a fan of tomatoes, Roasted Cherry Tomato Clafoutis was a hit in our house and we are eager to try more recipes from Aran Goyoaga, especially from her new book, Small Plates & Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking.  Hopefully you get a chance to enjoy this dish while tomatoes are still in season!

Happy Noshing! – Wild Wren