Friday, June 8, 2012

Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa Recipe

My kids are celebrating the end of the school year while I'm celebrating the start of the most wonderful produce time of the year! We are blessed here in Franklin Park to be surrounded by great farm markets. I've been frequenting Kaelin Farm Market and driving them crazy with my questions about which flowers I can plant in my yard (I have major deer issues. Do you? They think I plant flowers for their pleasure!). My yard may be a fight I can't win but one of these days I'm going to plant a veggie garden at the Inn.

Do you see three deer hiding and checking out my flowers? 
They think they are invisible!
Kaelins has given me great advice on which flowers to plant at the Inn too. My shady yard has very different conditions than the sunny restaurant.  Soergel Orchard has not been immune to my many questions. I attended the Herb Lady's seminar there a few weeks ago and have my herb garden started (BTW, they have a great little store behind the main market called Naturally Soergels. I'm able to get many items for my daughter with multiple food allergies there.).  My in-laws insist that Shenot's has the best fudge and later this summer will have the best corn around. I'm waiting for their blueberry picking.

Another source of local produce being enjoyed by my family recently is through my subscription to a CSA box from a farm near Zelienople, Kretschmann Organic Farms. Many Inn patrons have called and inquired about the mysterious wooden crates of produce showing up on our side porch Tuesday afternoons. If you want to learn more about it, just click here to visit Kretschmann's website. The Franklin Inn is a pick up site for local families that subscribe. It's fun to see what the box holds each week and a great learning experience for my kids. I look forward to making kale chips next with my fresh greens (Don't worry...they're for my family....we aren't replacing our tortilla chips!).

This is the home experiment version.
Don Kretschmann, emailed me last week to say that strawberries were having a "banner" year. He had extra strawberries that I could purchase. I said, "Heck yeah!" I needed a little inspiration and knew we'd be able to make you something special with these sweet June Gems! Not being able to wait for the strawberries to arrive with my weekly box, I raced to Soergels  (they have yummy strawberries growing now too). I wanted to come up with something awesome for you. After experimenting, a delicious strawberry salsa was born. We all loved it (including the kids!).  My Kretschmann strawberries arrived....Sweet, juicy, and delicious. They certainly are "banner" berries! I passed the berries and the recipe over to Karen. She took over, made a few tweaks of her own and prepared the salsa. Thus, our special menu feature:
We "fancied it up" a bit for you
with feta cheese and vinaigrette.

Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Salsa
A plate of "fresh". Chicken marinated in rosemary, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and lime juice on a bed of green. It's topped with a strawberry salsa, sprinkled with feta cheese and given a zig zag of roasted garlic vinaigrette.

John, of course, had to steal away some of the strawberries for his own purposes.  He made you Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream that is out of this world.

I've been asked if I'd share the Strawberry Salsa recipe. So, here it is:

Wendy's Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa
(Adjust ingredient amounts to your liking)
* 1 pint of strawberries, chopped
* 1 can diced tomatoes, drained & 2 fresh tomatoes chopped
(This is what I happened to have at home...when Karen made this at the Inn she told me she preferred all fresh tomatoes)
* 1.5 sweet white onion chopped  (I think red onion would be great too)
* 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (Go for more if you like more heat.  John wanted to add crushed red pepper flakes but Karen did not)
*3 Garlic Cloves, minced (personally, I could've added more but didn't want kill the kids!)
* 2 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
* 1 tbs olive oil
* 1 tbs white balsamic vinegar (Karen used rice vinegar)
* Bunch of fresh cilantro chopped (save a few leaves for garnish)
* Salt to taste (I used just a pinch)

Mix it together by hand or with your food processor.  There you have it.  Great on grilled chicken and I bet fish as well.  Some of the staff were happy eating it with our tortilla chips too. If you make it let me know how it turned out and if you made your own tweaks. Or, you can let us do the work for you. Come enjoy it at the Inn while the strawberries last. Then, its on to the next harvest :  )  Kale chips anyone?

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