The end of the summer produce season is here, and that means that we sometimes get a lot of whatever is left in the fields in our CSA box. These items are not always the easiest to cook with and thus inspire new pickling projects, sauces and other creative uses. Here I took red jalapeños — the main ingredient in classic sriracha — and instead of blending them fresh and fermenting them, I decided to roast them to build flavor. Be sure to seed the peppers — there is a nice, mellow burn even without the seeds.

Roasted Sriracha


  • 2 cups red jalapeños, washed and seeded
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/8-1/4 cup water


  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash and seed jalapeños. Peel garlic.
  3. Toss in oil and put in a roasting pan.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft.
  5. Scrape vegetables and residual oil into a blender.
  6. Add brown sugar, rice vinegar and 1/8 cup water and blend until smooth.
  7. Add more water as needed.
  8. Store in the refrigerator in a sterilized glass canning jar.
  9. Enjoy!


This soup is creamy without having dairy because of the smooth quality of blended, roasted cauliflower. The leeks add a savory element while the roasted cauliflower adds complexity. Finishing the soup with walnut oil brings out the nuttiness of the dish.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup


  • 2 heads cauliflower, cleaned and chopped
  • 4 leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups broth
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Walnut oil


  1. Turn the oven on to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash and cut cauliflower into 2 inch slices.
  3. Put on cookie sheets and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Roast in the oven until soft and just browned, about 25-30 minutes.
  5. Wash and chop leeks.
  6. Heat 1/8 cup olive oil in a large soup pot.
  7. Add leeks and stir until soften, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add cauliflower and sauté for 5 minutes.
  9. Add vegetable broth and salt and pepper.
  10. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes
  11. Let soup cool. Blend in a blender until smooth.
  12. Reheat soup and serve with 1 teaspoon of walnut oil on top.
  13. Enjoy!


This recipe was developed straight out of our Community Supported Agriculture box this week. For those of you who aren’t aware of the CSA model, we purchase a share of a local farmer’s crops at the beginning of the season. In return, each week we receive a box of fresh, local, seasonal, organic produce. Our farm does a great job of mixing up the items in the box and giving us a nice variety. We get a lot of produce each week, but we basically stop grocery shopping in the summer and rely on the bounty of the fields to keep us fed. It is a terrific system.

Last week we got a melon and a big bunch of basil. As soon as I saw these two ingredients, I thought of this dish. I have always loved melon with salt and pepper (a trick I learned my grandmother — it amplifies the flavor of the melon in incredible ways!). I added mozzarella to complement the melon with some richness and I added the brightness of the basil to balance the dish.

Melon, Mozzarella & Basil Salad


  • 4 cups honeydew melon, cubed
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup basil, thinly shredded
  • 1/8  cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse melon, deseed, peel and chop into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Chop mozzarella into 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Wash, dry and shred basil.
  4. Put all ingredients into a bowl.
  5. Add olive oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Toss, being careful not to tear the cheese.
  7. Enjoy!



I wanted to develop a cocktail with the jalapeño syrup I just created. Mixing a little spice with the sweetness of mango and the earthy flavor of tequila sounded like a potential hit. I added in some lime juice and triple sec for balance, and realized I basically have a margarita! This recipe makes two drinks.

Mango Jalapeño Margarita


  • 1 shot Jalapeño Soda Syrup
  • 1 cup chopped mango
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 shot tequila
  • 1 shot triple sec
  • Ice
  • Soda water


  1. Prepare mango.
  2. Add mango, soda syrup, lime juice, tequila, and triple sec to a blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Put ice into two glasses.
  5. Add 2/3 cup mango mixture to each class.
  6. Top with 1/3 cup soda water and stir.
  7. Enjoy!


I have been experimenting with soda syrups recently, and I wanted to try out a jalapeño based syrup. Jalapeños have a great level of spice and a bright, vegetal flavor. The combination of the jalapeño flavor and the sweet syrup creates a refreshing drink when mixed with soda water. Enjoy with spicy food or on a hot afternoon — the heat of the peppers actually cools you down!

Jalapeño Soda Syrup


  • 4 jalapeños, seeds and white membrane removed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Prepare jalapeños. Slice in half, seed and remove membrane, and score on the diagonal.
  2. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan.
  3. Add jalapeños.
  4. Bring to simmer over medium heat.
  5. Cook until the liquid has reduced to half, about 1o minutes.
  6. Pour one shot of syrup over ice in a large glass and top with soda water.
  7. Enjoy!

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Try this refreshing cocktail with a little kick on a hot afternoon. The lime cuts the sweetness of the cherry and the pepper gives it a welcome bite.

Black Cherry Black Pepper Rickey



  1. Put ice into two tall glasses.
  2. Put one shot of syrup into each glass.
  3. Put one shot of gin into each glass.
  4. Put juice of one lime into each glass.
  5. Top with soda water and stir.
  6. Garnish with one maraschino cherry.
  7. Enjoy!

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It’s that time of year again — fresh fruit is abundant and lazy Saturdays require a tall cool drink. I developed this recipe because I wanted to experiment with cutting the sweetness of cherry with the spice of black pepper. Try this non-alcoholic drink or a version of a lime rickey that uses the syrup.

Black Cherry Black Pepper Soda Syrup


  • 2 cups black cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 limes
  • Soda water


  1. Wash, stem and pit cherries. Put into a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add sugar and water.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Mash cherry with a potato masher.
  6. Simmer until liquid has reduced to half a cup.
  7. Strain liquid into a mason jar. Let cool.
  8. Put 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Add pepper.
  9. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Add to cherry syrup. Let cool.
  11. Put ice into two tall glasses.
  12. Squeeze the juice of one lime into each glass.
  13. Put one shot of syrup into each glass.
  14. Top with soda water and stir.
  15. Enjoy!

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