Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lovely Pupusas and Last Strawberries: Gardeners' Market Recap for June 30, 2012 - Logan, Utah

Note: This post is a recap about my visit to the Cache Valley Gardeners' Market. For my original post on the 2012 market, including hours, address, and other general information, click here. You can also visit the Cache Valley Gardeners' Market website.

 We were late getting to the Cache Valley Gardeners' Market on Saturday, which ended up being a shame because I missed the much-anticipated pho from Da Nang Bistro (I would add the fancy characters if I only knew how). I didn't know where to find their stand. It wasn't by the rest of the prepared foods on the south side of the market. Instead it was on the north side by the river.

When I finally found the Da Nang stand they had recently sold out of pho, and I had missed out. I mean, really missed out -- they still had big onions and hands of ginger charring on the grill and all the tasty condiments on the tables, and it looked so good! I chatted for a moment with the guy at the booth and he gave me a heads up about what they will be serving for the next couple of weeks. It won't be pho, but it still sounds delicious. Up next week are ice cream sandwiches made with lemongrass ice cream, plus a Vietnamese summer salad. The week after that will be fresh spring rolls and something else. I'll be there! He gave me two lychee fruits as sort of a consolation prize. I have only previously had them from a can, so it was fun to peel and try some fresh ones. Yummy!

On my way back over to the other food stands I picked up a bunch of beet greens ($1), a bunch of basil ($1), and a container of strawberries. The strawberries were marked at $2 but I bought them for $1. They were the last container for sale and were kind of sad looking. I knew they would taste great, though. I was excited to show my kids what a strawberry really tastes like. They've only had the gigantic bland/sour monstrosities from the store. You might be sensing a theme since my last Gardeners' Market Recap. Yes, beet greens and basil again, plus a red finger-food fruit for fun. I wondered if the strawberries were the last of the season.

After perusing my lunch options and considering a Dominican food, Ethopian food redux (that's what I had last time), and Mexican food, I settled on Salvadoran pupusas. I did already eat them earlier in the week at the Pupseria El Salvador, but that only served to increase my craving rather than sate it.

I ordered four of the combination pupusas, which were listed at $2 each or four for $7. Pupusas are a thick, soft corn tortilla stuffed with a savory fillings. The combination filling includes cheese, beans, and very finely ground or chopped fried pork. Adding the perfect couterpoint to the soft, warm pupusa is curtida, a crisp and spicy vinegar cabbage slaw. I was given a large baggie of curtida with my order. Four pupusas is quite a large meal. I intended to share with my husband, but instead I ate them all myself. He had a torta from the Mexican stand and temporarily lost his sense of taste when he bit into a pickled jalapeno on his sandwich. Because he couldn't taste much, he didn't bother to take any of my pupusas. All for me!

We were there right at the main lunch hour, so tables were crowded. Our little crew found a place to squeeze in and welcomed others to scoot on in, too. We ended up having a nice conversation with a couple who have moved here from China by way of Germany and Texas. They had wanted strawberries too, but had arrived too late to get any. We shared ours with them and their little daughter. My sons were being quite flirty with her and sharing all their strawberries. How funny! I told them about Mt. Naomi Farms, and they were very interested in being able to pick their own berries. Unfortunately I have learned that the strawberry picking season ended that day. There will be blackberries for picking in August, though. I'll keep you posted on that.

As the market wrapped up we began talking with the children of the Dominican food stand proprietors. I'm looking forward to trying their food next week, along with my Vietnamese food. Our kids all played together in the river for about an hour. It was a perfect Saturday afternoon: shade, sun, good conversation, meeting new people, good food, happy kids. Thank you, Cache Valley Gardeners' Market.



P.S.: What's your favorite recipe that uses basil? I love the herb and would like to get some fresh ideas.


  1. Just last night Dave and I made our own curtida (didn't know it was called that) but it was a spicy, vinegar cabbage salad (made with cabbage bought at the market) meant to be eaten with pupusas. We intended to walk to the pupusa place on 14th, but since we had so many leftovers in the fridge (plus, it was probably closed for the 4th) we just ate it with potato salad instead.
    I know there are lots of good basil recipes but am having a hard time thinking of one off the top of my head (I'm currently working on a digital recipe organization system that might help me with that). I do know I have liked it lots on homemade pizzas. I'd like to try making my own basil pesto sauce someday. Do you have a good recipe for that? I also got some beet greens at the market. What do you like to do with those?

  2. Sorry to be so late in replying! I either just sautee the beet greens or steam them or boil them, then dress them with lemon juice and butter or with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I did search for beet greens recipes on Pinterest and saw some good ones, though.

    I did once have a good pesto recipe. I'll have to dig around and see if I can find it. It was simple. Just basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts, then drizzle the olive oil in while it's processing and salt and pepper to taste. Adding parsley can lighten it up a bit. I've also made pesto with asparagus and basil, and used it to top steaks. Ooh, I think I just answered my own question about basil recipes!


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