Farmer’s Market Lamb Taco Night

My California hosts and I picked up everything but the spices at a local farmer’s market. In addition to everything in the taco filling, purple tomatillo salsa, cooked cherry tomato salsa, and corn on the cob we also grabbed locally made corn tortillas, a couple of fresh avocados and a red bell pepper as taco toppings.  

Everything in the taco filling itself is paleo, as are both of the salsas. Grab a head of bibb “living” lettuce to use as paleo taco wraps so both your paleo and gluten free friends can enjoy your farmer’s market taco night!

Lamb Taco Filling Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, peeled & diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground lamb (or a mix of ground lamb and ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, chopped small

Lamb Taco Filling Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring often. Toss in the minced garlic and keep cooking for another 2 minutes.
  • Next add all the spices. Cooking spices really brings out the flavor. Mix them into the onion and garlic, stirring nonstop for another 1-2 minutes.
  • When everything is nice and fragrant, add the ground lamb to the skillet and mix well.
  • Brown the lamb over medium-high heat, stirring often to ensure the onion, garlic, and spices are well integrated. When the meat is completely cooked, add in the chopped mushrooms and continue cooking for only another 2-3 minutes. That’s just long enough for the mushrooms to cook through and retain their nice meaty texture (so you can sneak veggies into your family’s food) without overcooking so they get squishy or slimy.

    Serve on freshly toasted corn tortillas. Top with cooked cherry tomato salsa (below) or purple tomatillo salsa, avocado, bell pepper chunks, and seasoned corn.

Vegan, Gluten Free, Cooked Cherry Tomato Salsa

Don’t throw away your squishy tomatoes! I whipped this up as a way to use up a variety of farmer’s market cherry tomatoes that were no longer plump and firm but weren’t quite mushy enough to justify throwing away. You can use it on tacos, spread thin on meat as a cold sandwich topping, or as a chip dip.

Cooked cherry tomato salsa ingredients

  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, peeled & diced small
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Hungarian paprika

Cooked cherry tomato Salsa Directions

  • Put tomatoes in a large sauce pan. Turn heat to medium high and let the skins lightly blister. Shake the pan to rearrange tomatoes so you can blister more, on more sides. Keep this up for about 10 min, or until you’re happy with the amount of blistering.
  • Add everything else & stir well. Use a sharp knife to poke each tomato 1-2 times.
  • Bring to a boil then turn down to medium. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until it becomes thick and jammy.

Lime Butter Corn Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn, cut from the cob
  • 6 tbsp salted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • Juice & zest of 1 lime
  • Sprinkles of paprika

Lime Butter Corn Directions

  • I know you’re disappointed that I didn’t somehow work the number 6 into the lime and paprika.
  • If you have a grill, soak your corn (husks still on) in warm water for an hour. Put them on the cool side of the grill, not over direct coals, for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Before serving, peel the husks and cornsilk back, smear the corn with butter, and put it back on the grill for another 3-4 minutes, until each side is lightly blistered.
  • If it’s not grilling season, remove your corn husks and corn silk then put your newly naked cobs into a large pot of boiling water. Pop a lid on the water and turn off the heat. Don’t move the lid or check on it! Just let it sit and quietly cook for the next 20 minutes.
  • While the corn cooks, melt your butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until aromatic but not yet browned. Take it off the heat and mix in the basil, lime juice, and lime zest.
  • Either way you cook it, once your corn is ready, grab your favorite sturdy knife and cut off all the kernels. Mix it into the saucepan full of buttery goodness until the kernels are all well coated.
  • Top each serving with a sprinkle of paprika.