Keepin’ it Cool

Welcoming the heat of the Tucson summer is often a love-hate relationship.  We love it because this relaxing time of year beckons swimsuits and hats, and we hate it because (needless to say) it is so darn hot!  Summertime certainly impacts our daily routines; exercising and chores are done in the early morning hours when it is still somewhat cool and the afternoon hours are for hunkering down in our air conditioned cars, offices, and homes.  At the farmers’ market we love the mornings- the freshly picked vegetables and fruits are still firm and moist.  The vendors are busy and cheerfully await the early morning rush.  So when you venture out to the markets make sure to bring a cooler for your fruits, veggies, meats, eggs & cheese (keep them from cooking in the car!), a hat, sunscreen, and your market bags for those other goodies you may find.

The summer plethora of fresh vegetables and fruits have been showing up in my kitchen: sweet melons like watermelon, lemon-drop cantaloupes, and honeydews, and fresh vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, onions and eggplant.  This time of year, we move from the warm soups and braised meat to more cool salads, fresh salsas, and days of poolside grilling.  But don’t dismiss those delicious roasty treats at the market- here’s a great way to transform a market product that warms the bones in the wintertime into a fresh and cool summer treat:

Jack & the Bean Soup~ Cool Summer Salad

Jack & the Bean Black Bean Soup Mix
Recommended in a Crockpot
Add the beans, special spice packet and 10 cups of water
Cook overnight or all day.
Allow to cool, drain off most of the bean water.
In a bowl add together: Beans, Your favorite salsa.
I recommend Adela the Salsa Lady’s Ranchero Salsa (I like it hot!) or her fruit salsa.

This dish can also be mixed with brown rice or quinoa (which I sometimes stuff into one of those fresh roasted poblano chiles from Bob’s Roasters and bake for 20 min).

Enjoy as a side dish or a main dish.



By Roxanne Garcia

Farmers’ Market Manager