Cucumber & Basil Gin Sour


This recipe is made simpler with the use of a cocktail shaker, bar muddler, strainer, and measuring spoons/cups.


1 Cucumber (any variety will do, but the lemon cucumbers are best for this recipe)

Fresh basil, stems and leaves (about 4-5 leaves for each serving)

1 1/2 Tbs Basil Simple Syrup* per serving

2 oz Hendrick's Gin per serving

1 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice per serving


*Basil Simple Syrup:

1 Cup sugar

1 Cup water

5-6 Stems from basil

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and heat on medium-high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from heat and add the basil stems.  Let the stems steep in the syrup until the syrup cools and the flavor is infused. Any unused syrup can be refrigerated for later use.


Remove the basil leaves from the stems and set aside. Prepare the basil simple syrup and let cool.  Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds. Slice the cucumber into thin wedges (about 1 inch slices).

For each serving: Add a couple of cucumber slices and 4-5 basil leaves to the cocktail shaker and muddle.  Add 1 1/2 Tbs of syrup, 1 Tbs lime juice, 2 oz Gin, and ice to the shaker. Shake until combined, then strain into a glass. Dunk a wedge of cucumber into each drink and garnish with a sprig of basil.




Summer Slaw with Smoky Peach Dressing


The Smoky Peach Dressing is really the highlight of this dish.  Yes, eat your veggies and all that. But the It's versatile enough to keep around as a dipping sauce, sandwich dressing, marinade, etc. The Chattanooga Market is celebrating the season with it's annual peach festival this week, so we thought we'd join in the fun with this dish. Also, who could pass up using a dash of smoky Alchemy Spice Proud To Be American blend in honor of independence day?

Smoky Peach Dressing:

2-3 Medium peaches, quartered and pits discarded

5 Garlic cloves

1/4 Cup olive oil

Juice from 1/2 lime

1-2 tsp Proud To Be American spice blend by Alchemy Spice

1 tsp Lime Fresco Salt by Alchemy Spice





Daikon radish

Fennel bulb

Summer squash (any variety)

Green onions


Juice from one lime

Kosher salt to taste


For the dressing, add all of the ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth and they emulsify into a creamy dressing.  Refrigerate until ready to use. If you have extra, place in a squeeze bottle and use as a dressing for sandwiches, grilled vegetables, hot dogs, and basically anything that tastes good with the addition of some spicy-sweetness.

Slaw is basically a quick salad of vegetables that are shredded or julienned, mixed together, and dressed.  It's not complicated. It's the stuff that picnics are made of...less time in the kitchen, and more time outside having fun.  The list of vegetables above are the ones in this week's CSA box, but you could substitute anything you like eating raw.  Grate, chop, slice and julienne the vegetables and mix together in a large bowl.  Toss the grated vegetables with lime juice and some kosher salt. Let rest a few minutes, then pour off any excess liquid. The vegetables will absorb a lot of the flavor of the peach dressing, so you may want to dress each portion of the slaw individually as it's served.


Almond Zucchini Breakfast Muffins



2 Cups Sonrisa Farm stone ground whole wheat flour

1 Cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1  cup organic raw sugar

2 Cups ground almonds or almond flour

1 Cup sliced almonds (optional)

3-4 cups grated summer squash like zucchini, zephyr, or pattypan squash

4 eggs

1/2 cup pure maple syrup or local raw honey

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk

1 Tbs pure almond extract



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, maple syrup, apple sauce, and almond milk.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Add the grated zucchini and stir until fairly even-textured.  Add the almond extract and stir to combine.

Line muffin tin with parchment muffin liners, or coat with oil or cooking spray.  Fill muffin tin with batter.  Bake for 25 minutes for mini muffins, or 30-40 minutes for large muffins. They are fully cooked when a toothpick or bamboo skewer comes out clean.  Let cool on a cooling rack before serving.  Cool completely before freezing.

Makes about 5 dozen mini muffins, or 30 large muffins.


Savory Heirloom Tomato Pie with Olives and Pesto


It's tomato season again, and to celebrate we have another tomato pie recipe to share.  For anyone wishing to win a pie contest, wow your mother-in-law, or just eat a good tomato pie, this one won't disappoint. It has a Mediterranean flavor fit for a pizza, but the thick layers of flavorful heirloom tomatoes and caramelized onions in a buttery shortcrust are sinfully good with these Italian inspired ingredients. We tested the recipe with an aged goat milk cheese on top, but if you prefer a milder flavor, try it with Toasted Garlic Drizzling Oil  instead of cheese, or use freshly grated Parmesan, Sequatchie Cove Dancing Fern cheese, or make your own fresh chevre.  


1 Recipe for Classic Pie Crust

3-4 Heirloom tomatoes (about 1 1/2 - 2 lbs)

2 Yellow onions, sliced

1/4 Cup oil-cured Italian black olives, pitted and chopped

About 2 1/2 oz aged cheese, like Parmesan, goat cheese, or freshly made chevre (optional)

1/4 Cup freshly made pesto

Olive oil or Toasted Garlic Drizzling Oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Coarse kosher salt



Prepare ahead (up to one week) and refrigerate: 1 recipe for Pesto.

Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and place on absorbent paper towels.  Sprinkle a little salt on them to help them release some of the juice.  Cover with another layer of paper towel and press them gently to squeeze out some of the juice.  Let them sit between the layers of paper towel for about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the pie crust and press into a 10-inch tart pan or deep pie dish.  A thicker crust is good for this recipe because of the moisture content and weight of the tomatoes.  So fold any extra pastry dough into the tin and press it into the sides.  Bake "blind" for about 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry has cooked enough to be firm, but not browned.   Remove from the oven and let rest until cooled.

Slice the onion and cook in a heavy-bottomed skillet with a little oil and a pinch of salt.  Stir occasionally and remove from the heat when the onions are golden brown.

Start layering the pie by generously spreading pesto into the crust.  Next, press a layer of tomatoes into the bottom of the pie shell.  Season the first  layer of tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Spread the onions over the first layer of tomatoes, then top with the rest of the tomatoes.  Press them gently to pack the ingredients more densely into the pie.  Drizzle a little olive oil or Toasted Garlic Drizzling Oil over the tomatoes, then season, and top with olives and cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees on the top shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes.  The crust will be golden brown and the tomatoes will begin to look a little dehydrated on the edges. Most of the excess moisture should evaporate from the tomatoes, but don't worry if there is still a little moisture pooling between the slices when you pull it out of the oven.  Let the pie cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Serve warm, or cool to room temperature before serving.



Tomato Pie 2013

Caramelized Cabbage and Onions


There are many uses for caramelized vegetables.  This recipe is more of a simple preparation method for having a tasty base for sandwiches, soups, and side dishes.  Caramelizing cabbage, onions, and other vegetables, is a simple method of slowly cooking them with a pinch of salt and a little oil until the natural sugars are released and cooked to a golden-brown caramel.  The cabbage and onions are delicious as a side dish, but there's no need to stop there.  Try it on a pizza, a grilled cheese sandwich, or add broth, garlic and leaf celery to make a simple cabbage soup.


1 Head of green or red cabbage

2-4 Yellow onions

1/4 Cup of olive or canola oil

1/4 - 1/2 Tsp kosher salt



Slice the cabbage and onions thinly and place them in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet with the oil.  Cook on medium-low heat until they begin to sweat, stirring occasionally.  Add the salt and continue to cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally so that the cabbage and onions don't stick to the pan. Taste periodically.  They will be done when they have turned a nice golden-brown color and have a soft texture and sweet flavor.