A Twist on Mojitos

Shake it up! From the N.C. Watermelon Association, based in Raleigh, comes this refreshing recipe for Watermelon Mojito (makes 2 drinks):
30 mint leaves
1 large lime (juice and some pulp)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups ice
4 fluid ounces white rum
1/2 cup liquified fresh watermelon
1/2 cup club soda
Optional garnishes: diced and sliced watermelon; mint leaves


Place mint leaves, the lime juice and pulp, and the sugar in a medium pitcher. Use a muddler to crush the mint and blend the juice and sugar.


Add the ice, rum, watermelon juice and club soda. Stir, taste and add more sugar or lime to taste.


If desired, garnish each glass with diced watermelon, mint and a thin slice of watermelon.



Summer of Love
at Farmers' Markets

There are more than two dozen farmers' markets in the Triangle, which means a cornucopia of fresh produce is just around the corner. Local fruit and veggies available for your eating pleasure in July and August include:


Fruit - Blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, figs, honeydew, grapes, nectarines, peaches, plums and watermelon


Veggies - Butter beans, cabbage, carrots, corn, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, green onions, greens, herbs, okra, onions, peanuts, peppers, potatoes, snap beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, yellow squash and zucchini.




Too Many Tomatoes!

Have tomatoes been sitting on your window sill in Cary or your porch in Chapel Hill too long? Turn them into a simple Southern gravy! Tomato gravy is made from overripe cuties thickened with a roux and okra. Add the okra at the end of cooking, right before serving over cornbread, biscuits, rice or grits.







Pickle Paradise

The bounty available in the Triangle started Carolina Woman's food editor thinking about preserving produce for the colder months. Pickling is a popular method of keeping and flavoring foods here and around the world. The low pH of pickling liquid prohibits the growth of unwanted pathogens, and spices and herbs add flavor and personality. Pickles, made from any fruit or veggie, can be fermented in brine (salt and water) or packed in vinegar.




Go Bananas for "Ice Cream"

Put four frozen bananas and a few tablespoons of milk into a blender and mix for 3 seconds. If you prefer soft-serve, consume it immediately. If you like classic ice cream, freeze the blend in an airtight container, and scoop it out after it reaches Breyer's consistency. To serve, top with Nutella, peanut butter or honey; nuts or chocolate chips; or a dash of powdered ginger, cardamom or cinnamon.