Multi-sensory Market Discoveries [Lemon Verbena]

Shopping at a farmers market is nothing like shopping at a grocery store. It’s a multi-sensory activity where we learn about, interact with, and become part of our surroundings. This week, we discovered a new-to-us herb: Lemon Verbena!

During the last hour of the market, we happened upon Lemon Verbena at Maya’s Farm. We sniffed at the leaves wondering what it was, though the lemony aspect of it was very obvious. It smelled a little more floral than other herbs at the table, though everything at this booth toes the line between flower, herb, and vegetable.

Maya herself convinced us to take it home and experiment! She told us to make a tea with it by simply adding it to just-boiled water (being sure to take it off the heat once we put the leaves in). Lemon Verbena can also be used in salads, with fish and chicken, and whatever else lemon would otherwise be great with. We grabbed a couple bunches of it along with some of the robust rosemary next to it, and flaunted its beautiful smell to friends we bumped into on the way out of the aisle.

Little did we know…Lemon Verbena is highly medicinal! In its thin and bright green leaves, there is a high concentrate of antioxidant compounds, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties. It even moderates appetite and is a great anti-stress agent.

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The tea was refreshing and floral! We ended up specifically craving it over ice at the end of a long, hot day. But it also just made the house smell amazing! Adding a sprig of rosemary was a good move, giving the tea a bit of nuance and a savory touch. Mint would be a natural addition, too. Having a jar of concentrated Lemon Verbena tea is sure to improve Summer. Next, maybe roasted halibut with asparagus–that would go great with Lemon Verbena!
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Multi-sensory discoveries can be made all over the market. Get the most out of the Open Air Market by opening your senses–smell what you see and listen to what you can feel. Ask a farmer or a fellow shopper about their experience, inquire about the story behind a handmade good and truly connect with your local commerce.
Be sure to share your findings with us and the market community on Instagram and Facebook with #lettucemeatdowntown!

Taco Throwdown: Winning Recipe

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Chile Acres Market Tacos

Taco Throw Down By Celia Petersen (Chile Acres)

You may know Celia for her hard work as a local farmer and her varieties of cheeses, duck eggs, gluten free goodies, soaps and hand woven textiles.  Celia has been at the Market since the very first one back in February of 2005!   So.. she definitely knows the Market well and made some mean Market Tacos for our Taco Throwdown!

You can read more about Celia here in this Vendor Profile: Chile Acres.

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Phoenix Public Maket Tacos

Market Shopping List:
Los Muertos Salsa – One Container of LMS Caviar
Carefree Spice Co – Green Chile Spice Blend
Maya’s Farm – Salad greens, finely chopped
Willy’s Tomato & Chile – One Guac Salsa
Fluffy Vegans – Kale Crunchies
YoBro – Microgreens
Chile Acres – Green Chile Goat Cheese
Abby Lee Farms – Two Tomatoes, chopped
Crooked Sky Farm – Two Onions, chopped
Tortirrikas – 12 Corn Tortillas
OHSO Distillery – Vodka (lime or mango flavored)
Limes for juice

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Get the Most Out of Your Gourd

Fall is finally here! Even in the concrete jungle where the forecast still says 97 degrees, it’s time to celebrate! This Saturday at the market, Downtown Phoenix can enjoy a celebration of all things Autumn as we cozy up into a new season. At the market, there will be a costume contest, pumpkin carving station, Open Air scavenger hunt, pumpkin displays for adorable photo-ops, and pumpkin patches with a variety of Phoenix-grown pumpkins to take home. Of course, shoppers can also pick up fall flavors at almost every vendor booth, as well as market-roasted chiles for what bubbles in the cauldron at home.

All this fun begs the question: once the great pumpkin is chosen and does its decorative duty at the doorstep–what’s next? Cut it open and roast the seeds, leaving the body for compost? Use it as a doorstop in the home and see how long it lasts before rotting from the inside out? Find the local trebuchet and see how far it’ll go? Maybe we can suggest something better:

homemade pumpkin puree!

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Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

Pesto

Pickled Okra

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Okra is known to be slimy but pickling them is the crunchy cure, enjoy!

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Green Chile Roll Ups

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Market Gravy + Country Potatoes

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Roasted Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant with Za'tar

Za’atar Roasted Eggplant

read more for shopping list and recipe

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Burger Throwdown Winning Recipe

Winning Burger Throwdown Recipe!!
KimSlaw Black Garlic Burgers

Created by: Ric Carrillo + John P Kraft

Featuring Carefree Spice Company Spices and The Proper Beast Sausages

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