2 October, 2022, 07:23

Heirloom Farmers Market, Edible Baja Arizona, Zona 78 Team Up for RIPE

The beginning of fall in Tucson offers an abundance of popular native foods, including mesquite flour, prickly pear syrups and jams, cactus pads, cholla buds, chiles and more. To kick off the season, Heirloom Farmers Markets, Edible Baja Arizona, and Zona 78 are teaming up for the First Annual Farm to Table Fundraising Dinner, RIPE (Regionally Inspired Plates for the Evening). 

RIPE Collaboration with Heirloom Farmers Markets, Edible Baja Arizona, and Zona 78

RIPE Collaboration with Heirloom Farmers Markets, Edible Baja Arizona, and Zona 78

RIPE will be presented on two nights, September 17 and 18, from 5pm to 10pm at Zona 78’s River Road location and feature freshly harvested ingredients from Tucson-area farms. The event will also feature a silent auction with a full spectrum of items for bidding–think dinners at Proper, shows at Rialto, Maya Tea baskets, gluten-free baking classes with Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery, and more.

Tucson Foodie has obtained a working menu for the event, although Zona 78’s Kevin Fink says some dishes may change based on availability of ingredients. Also, a cool twist to this event – which, if you made it to the Seed & Sow event, you’ll really understand how cool this is – a substantial number of the smaller plates will be served dim sum style. This will speed up wait times considerably, as well as allow for a much broader ability to sample everything.

Dim Sum Dishes

  • Sourdough Doughnuts with Corn Powder and Tomato Hollandaise
  • Chirachua Pasture Raised Chicken Empanadas: Maggie’s Mushrooms, Roasted Chilis
  • Summer Squash and Goat Cheese Empanada: Squash from Sleeping Frog Farms and Fior di Capra Goat Cheese
  • Goat’s Milk Brioche: Sleeping Frog Farm’s Figs poached in Arizona Wine. Fior di Capra Chevre: Honeycomb
  • Indian Fry Bread, Sarah Farm’s Straciatella, Reduced Whey, Spices
  • Heirloom Verrine: Smoked Mozzarella Panna Cotta, Sleeping Frog Basil Jelee, Walking J Tomatoes, Mozzarella Foam, Garden Yarrow and Thai Basil Buds.
  • Roasted Corn, Tumaccori Chili Salt, Finished with Fresh Lardo
  • Farmer’s Chips: Sleeping Frog Black Tuscan Kale, Ajo Rojo Garlic, Beets, Sweet Potato, Salt, Desert Rosemary
  • Seared Summer Squash, Cold Vinegar Broth, Yarrow, Chili Leaf, Thai Basil
  • Foraged Mushrooms, Hayden Mills Polenta, Sleeping Frog Thyme and Blossoms
  • Hayden Mills Corn Fritters, Local Chilis, Serrano Dip

Small Plates to Order

  • Salad of Watercress and Local Greens, Dehydrated Strawberries, Lemon Cucumbers, Goat Cheese, Local Nuts, Pomegranate and Kombucha Dressing
  • Cascabel grown Asian Pear, Five Sons Ranch Lardo, Lemon Verbena, Burnt Honey and Pecan Brittle, Lemon Oil
  • Assortment of Local Melons, Zona 78 Prosciutto, Garden Mint and Flowers
  • Date and Squash Agnolotti, Cultured Brown Butter, Zona Grown Sage
  • Duck Egg Raviolo, Cultured Ricotta, Mizuna, Fior di Capra Butter, Petit Herbs
  • Five Sons Ranch Lamb Kofta, Walking J Burnt Aubergine, Sleeping Frog Poached Eggplant, Seared Kale Yogurt, Berry Brown Butter
  • Blue Beard Durum Chittara, Heritage Pork Polpettini, Jimmy Nardello Puree, Mustard Greens
  • San Rafael Beef Tartare, Sleeping Frog Russian Tarragon Puree, Maggie’s Watercress, Griddled Bread
  • Sleeping Frog Okra, E&R Pork 10 day-Bacon, Jimmy Nardello Peppers, Chili Broth
  • Toasted Chickpea “Cous Cous” Roasted Kale Puree, Curly Kale, Pistachio, Pickled Nardello Peppers, Lemon Cucumbers, Sprouted Mung Beans.
  • Roasted Cauliflower with fixings


  • Pan Seared Pork Chop from E&R Pork or Five Sons Ranch, Squash Polenta, Crispy Leeks, Greens
  • Chicken Two Ways: The White Meat: Rubbed in Foraged Desert Herbs and Spices, paired withTwice Baked Potatoes with Housemade Crème Fraiche: The Dark Meat: Brined and Grilled Chicken Leg
  • Five Sons Ranch Rack or Saddle of Lamb: Confit and Seared Eggplant, Kale and Garlic Puree, Yogurt and Whey Sauce, 12-hour Tomato Paint

Proceeds from the dinner and auction will directly benefit Heirloom Farmers Markets infrastructure development and education and outreach programs.

For more information on Heritage Foods Festival, visit www.HeirloomFM.comFor RIPE reservations, contact Zona 78 at (520) 888-7878.

Nina is a Creative Nonfiction MFA candidate at the University of Arizona, a food writer and a recipe addict.