Aronia berries are a versatile fruit and can even be included in salsa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Aronia berries are a versatile fruit that can even be included in salsa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

So many people I’ve talked to this weekend were in the process, or at least planning, to make salsa.

From what I’m hearing from area CSAs, farmers market vendors and gardeners, this has been an excellent season for Iowa-grown tomatoes and salsa is the perfect vehicle for using that bumper crop, along with hot peppers, garlic and other locally grown produce.

Several salsa contests are happening in Eastern Iowa this month and next, including one during the Tomato Tasting event at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013.

If you’re looking for an unusual twist for your salsa, you might try aronia berries. Also known as chokeberries, this blueberry look-alike is high in antioxidants, which makes it a good weapon against cancer and other diseases.

We bought aronia berries at today’s Hiawatha Farmers Market and the vendor noted that salsa is among its uses.

I’ll try adding aronia berries when I finally get around to making my own salsa, hopefully today. The Midwest Aronia Association also offers some tempting recipes, including one for apple/aronia crisp that I’d like to try.

If you have a favorite salsa recipe, or a use for aronia berries, feel free to share that here or on the Homegrown Facebook page.