Roasted Artichokes – for Fuller Flavor

Artichokes are about ready to harvest right now in Southwest gardens.  Rather than boil them and lose a lot of flavor – roasting them seals in an added layer of flavor! Roasted Artichokes serves 2 or 4 – depending 3 fresh artichokes 2 large fresh lemons 2 tablespoons olive oil fresh herbs chopped fine – fresh if possible, use half as much it they are dried. rosemary, thyme, oregano, and a bit of sage coarse or Himalayan sea salt ¼ teaspoon dried peppergrass seed or freshly-cracked black pepper Preheat oven […]

Liqueurs and Cordials – Savor the Flavor of the Southwest

In honor of World Absinthe Day (March 5) we are posting how to make your own absinthe as well as other liqueurs and cordials. We do urge you to be careful with your alcohol, and have a safety page on alcohol – here. This post includes affiliate links.  The Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few pennies at no additional cost to you if you use the links. Herbal Liqueurs In Europe, liqueurs started as medicinal beverages made with herbs and alcohol. Popular in 17th century […]

Brittlebush – A Useful Southwest Plant

Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is one of the most common and conspicuous wildflowers of the Sonuthwest deserts; seasonally providing a glowing golden-yellow cloak. And yes, the wood is brittle, hence the name. I wrote about growing brittlebush on GardeningWithSoule (here) now lets look at how to use this lovely plant. Brittlebush Resins The resin of brittlebush collected from the base of the plant is often yellowish to brown in color. This resin can be heated and used as a glue. The O’odham and Seri used it for hafting, to hold points […]

Savory Sunflowers – An All-American Treat

Sunflowers are an American native plant, used for centuries by the Native people. The plants once grew only in North and Central America (the “New World”). Once Europeans “discovered” sunflowers, they were rapidly carried and planted around the globe. Indeed, sunflowers are one of the plants that were part of the “Columbian Exchange” that we discussed earlier this year in our post about Strawberry Fennel Salad (here). Many Sunflowers to Choose From There are over 70 different species of sunflower (Helianthus). Best known is the garden sunflower (Helianthus annus) which […]

Not All Sage Is

With apologies to English teachers everywhere, I hope I caught your attention with the title. I used it to call attention to the fact that while many plants are called “sage,” only some of them should be used for food or culinary purposes. What is in a Name? The culinary sage you purchase in the store is Salvia officinalis. The name “officinalis” means that it was once considered the medicinal sage, not the “official” sage. The word officinalis is Latin for “of or belonging to an officina.” An officina was […]