Farmers Market Inspired Berry Lime Salsa

This week blueberries were the stars of the Athens Farmers Market. Looks like it is peak blueberry season here y’all! On Saturday, that meant cooking demonstrations at the market featuring blueberry-centric foods. While I was there, volunteers from P.L.A.C.E. (a non-profit organization in Athens dedicated to promoting the local food culture – for more info see www.localplace.org) were whipping up some Blueberry Lime Salsa. Initially, I was hesitant – I LOVE peach mango salsa (especially the kind my dad makes!) but I couldn’t picture blueberries in salsa.

Oh how wrong I was! That stuff was addictive – I could probably eat it until I turned violet like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So of course, that went on the list of things I needed to make ASAP. Lucky for me, I had leftovers from my moderately successful attempt at Blueberry Raspberry Boy Bait. It was now time for them to redeem themselves in a new form, and they were definitely up for the challenge.

I made some modifications from the P.L.A.C.E recipe (mainly adding extra onion and cilantro), but otherwise the credit goes to them for this seasonal, refreshing, delicious salsa. I chose to take the healthy, antioxidant filled delicacy and pair it with some tasty (although not entirely healthy) lime Tostitos – heaven! I could also see this salsa paired with a nice piece of grilled fish or chicken and some veggies if you wanted to make a meal out of it. Or if you have any other suggestions for ways to incorporate this into just about anything – please let me know, because I have made enough to last a longgggg time and I fear the entire bag of chips will be gone in the next day or two if I don’t find alternatives. Now, I think I have gone on enough about this salsa – here is the recipe (after some more mouth-watering pictures):

Farmers Market Inspired Berry Lime Salsa

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 red onion, roughly chopped (I used more like 1/3-1/2 of the onion)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves (I added a bit more)
  • salt to taste

Combine blueberries, raspberries, onions, lime zest + juice, and cilantro in a food processor or blender. Pulse until you reach your desired consistency (I made mine really smooth because I had never made salsa in a food processor before and I was excited – but I also added some larger onion chunks post-processing). Taste and season with salt if desired (I probably added about 1/8 tsp of salt). The original recipe called for pepper as well, which I regretted adding but if pepper is your thing, don’t let me stop you from giving it a try! Finally, I thought that the salsa tasted even better the next day once the flavors had a chance to get all cozy with each other – so keep that in mind (and make extra if you are like me and cannot stop eating it!).

Advertisements

My Version of Blueberry (and Raspberry) Boy Bait

I first saw the recipe for Blueberry Boy Bait on Smitten Kitchen about a year ago, and have made it no less than 5 times since.  While I cannot speak to the success of this as far as boys are concerned (I did give some leftovers to my advisor, but referred to it as blueberry cake – I was and am not the least bit interesting in baiting that man!), I can say that this cake is A M A Z I N G!

By 7 o’clock this evening, I had driven to and from the clinic to make phone calls and prep for my case tomorrow, walked around in the rain, finished my IRB for my thesis study, and even managed to throw in a thirty minute workout (which has since been completely negated by what I am about to share). The amount of productivity going on today deserves some relaxation. Which if you ask me, means watching Drop Dead Diva (not ashamed) and baking cake. Also, blueberries and raspberries were on sale at Publix, so this cake was basically destined to be made. I’ve made some modifications to the Smitten Kitchen version (which is adapted from Cook’s Country, who adapted the original recipe – geez this cake has been through a lot!). One of the modifications was out of necessity (unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of whole milk because that’s what I had) and others were out of curiosity. First, I made half of the cake with raspberries because I had them and thought if the blueberry version was so good, a raspberry version has to be at least as good if not better (love love love raspberries). Second, I added a touch of vanilla because I love vanilla. Third, I used ½ whole wheat flour and ½ all-purpose flour. I don’t know why I do this – well, no, I do it to fool myself into thinking I am eating something that is good for me. Pretty irrational – what is the point when I am still using so much butter and sugar? No matter how irrational, I do this “part whole wheat” thing a lot, and usually (well at least in zucchini bread) things turn out fine. Moral of the story – I will continue to add whole wheat flour to recipes and pretend I am eating health food.* Anyway, here is the truly important part of this post – the recipe!

Yeah – that’s me doing some intense stirring while I watch Drop Dead Diva 🙂

Blueberry & Raspberry Boy Bait

  • 1 cup + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk (or in my case, unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberries

Topping

  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

CAKE: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter & flour a 13 by 9-inch baking pan (Note: I have also made Blueberry Boy Bait Mini Muffins because of my love affair with my mini muffin tins + attempts at portion control – if you would like to go this route, reduce cooking time to about 15 minutes).

In a medium bowl, whisk together whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. I’m going to be honest here – I used a wooden spoon and stirred as fast as I could (I was lacking in the mixer department the first time I made this and things turned out fine, plus I got a nice little arm workout – so mixing by hand stuck). Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring until just incorporated. Once all eggs are added, stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just incorporated followed by half of the milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla (be careful not to overmix!). Repeat with the second third of the flour mixture and the rest of the milk, followed by the last of the flour mixture. Now is the part where I decided to complicate things. Split the batter between 2 bowls. Toss 1/4 of the blueberries with 1/2 teaspoon of flour and gently fold into one bowl of batter using a rubber spatula. Do the same thing with the other bowl of batter, but this time with the raspberries and 1/2 teaspoon of flour.** Spread the blueberry batter into one side of the pan and the raspberry batter into the other.

TOPPING: Stir sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup blueberries over the blueberry side of the batter and the remaining 1/4 cup raspberries over the raspberry side. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the entire cake and bake for 45-50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.). Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes (this is the toughest part in my opinion – by this time the whole house will smell like blue/raspberry deliciousness). Once cool, either turn out and display the cake nicely on a platter or just dig in!

*So, the recipe still tastes good with the whole wheat flour BUT I will admit, it is better with 100% all-purpose flour. It also looks better (mine turned out pretty ugly). I retract my original statement – from now on, at least with this recipe, I am just gonna go all in and accept that this is a dessert and it was not meant to be healthy.

Tastes better than it looks, I swear!

**Alternatively, if you wanted to make things easier on yourself – either use all blueberries, all raspberries, or just mix them together in one cake rather than going through the unnecessary hassle of trying to make two different halves. I am sure that all of the above would be delicious…I just have a problem with unnecessarily over-complicating things by trying to get creative.