Cookin’ Up a Storm

Wild plants cooking class at Tucson Botanical Gardens

Last Saturday I was joined by 16 old and new friends at Tucson Botanical Gardens as we made some dishes perfect for the entertaining season using Tucson’s delicious wild plants. We made a Mesquite Apple Crisp, a lentil salad with nopalitos, a tepary-basil appetizer and enjoyed a prickly pear salad dressing on a green salad.  I also brought along some prickly pear iced tea. At the end, there was enough for a small lunch for everyone.

All the recipes came from my new cookbook Cooking the Wild Southwest, Delicious Recipes for Desert Plants.  You can learn a little about what’s in the book from my new book trailer
 If you didn’t get a chance to join me at the botanical gardens, I’ll be teaching a similar class at Tohono Chul Park at 9 a.m. on November 12. Call  the park to sign up.
Meanwhile, if you have a favorite fruit crisp recipe, try adding or substituting 2 to 8 tablespoons of finely ground mesquite meal.  My recipe contains 1/2 cup mesquite meal, 1 cup raw oatmeal, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 6 tablespoons unsalted butter.
And don’t forget to check the Desert Harvesters’ website for a mesquite milling date near you.
Next post:  Join me next time when I interview Jeau Allen of The Mesquitery who sells all sorts of wild foods for those of you who want to get in the game but didn’t have time to gather the materials yourselv.