Archive | June 6th, 2011

At New Quarry Market, You Can Have Your Goat Two Ways

At New Quarry Market, You Can Have Your Goat Two Ways

Mark Rodriguez (right) talks with customers about his Alamo City Pepper Products.

Sunday marked the grand opening of the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market. And it was indeed grand, with Mayor Julián Castro dropping by to mark the official opening. But the main attraction for many, and not just the younger set, was the pen Springfield Farms set up with baby goats that were glad to be fed and petted. A pair of hens was also on display, but they couldn’t compete with the goats for attention.

Oh, yeah, there were also fresh peaches, heirloom and conventional tomatoes, Indian cucumbers, kohlrabi, beans, blackberries, leeks and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables from nearby farms as well as baked goods, including some gluten-free, locally harvest honey, fresh cheeses and granola. One of the market’s organizers, David Lent, was handing out samples of organic watermelon.

Mark Rodriguez of Alamo City Pepper Products was sampling his series of seasonings, which included a powdered version of the Indian ghost pepper. Even a touch on the tip of a toothpick was enough to set one’s tongue on fire. Far milder but no less flavorful were the Jalapeño Salt, Honey Chipotle and Hatch Green Chile Salt.

A baby goat waits for a treat.

Koch Ranches offered grass-fed kebabs, hot dogs and sliders, including some made from ground cabrito, which proved to be the big seller of the morning. Did anybody make the connection between the cabrito on the bun and cabritos in the pen? Did anybody care?

They were more interested in checking out the varieties of squash on display, including calabaza, zucchini, yellow and pattypan, which one vendor said she liked to fix simply by sautéing it with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.

The lineup of farmers, ranchers and culinary artisans included Cowgirl Granola, Edelen Farm, Engel Farms, From Deborah’s Garden, Good Gluten-Free Foods, Humble House Foods, Koch Ranches, Markley Family Farm, My Father’s Farm, Nature’s Select, Orange Blossom Farm, Patty’s Petals, Sol y Luna Baking Co., Springfield Farm, The Gardener’s Feast, The Lemonade Co. and Zamudio Farm.

The market runs each Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Indian cucumbers

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Luis Morales Pesto Takes Prize at Basil Fest

Luis Morales Pesto Takes Prize at Basil Fest

Crowds at the San Antonio Herb Market’s Basil Fest on Saturday at the Pearl Farmers Market, and the Pesto Challenge named a new winner.

Luis Morales, of Humble House Foods demonstrates making pesto.

Luis Morales of Humble House Foods demonstrated his “secret recipe” Basil Pesto earlier in the day. The difference? Morales uses walnuts in the popular Mediterranean sauce, made of fresh basil leaves, olive oil and cheese.

“Walnuts are less expensive than pine nuts,” Morales explained as he demonstrated how to make his pesto in a food processor. He was handing out recipe cards at the demonstration, so the secret of his pesto was soon revealed. (Click here for recipe.)

Chef Michael Flores also shared his recipe for Piquant Citrus Sauce with Basil & Spinach. It incorporates goat cheese, ricotta cheese, fresh spinach and chiles, and can be a spread, a dressing for a bean salad or tossed with pasta. Check out Flores’ recipe by clicking here.

Malabar Spinach grows as a vine.

Sunny weather and a steady breeze kept things comfortable at the market as customers made their way through the stands and tables. John Marrs had big, healthy basil plants for sale from Marrs’ Garden. Nature’s Herb Farm had a large selection of all types of herbs, as well as some flowers and even a hot weather-friendly green, called Malabar Spinach, that produces spinach-like leaves on a sturdy, climbing vine.

Brilliantly colored cut flowers for vases and fresh vegetables were available, as always, from Oak Hill Farm, and Sol y Luna Bakery did a brisk business with its whole grain baked

Fresh eggs, in a variety of colors, offered at the Pearl.

products. Other sellers had farm-grown tomatoes as well as squash, eggplants, cucumbers, beans, sweet corn, eggs and cuts of grass-fed beef. Indoors, Imagine Farms sold lavender products and olives, olive oil and olive-leaf products were available from the Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard’s table.

The Pearl Farmers Market is every Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.







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Humble House Foods Basil Pesto

Humble House Foods Basil Pesto

This is a simple recipe, but rich and versatile. You can use it as a spread or a sauce, a dip or to toss into hot pasta. It’s become a summer classic, but this one, by chef Luis Morales, is made with walnuts instead of pine nuts. You can substitute pine nuts for walnuts in this recipe if you want the more traditional pesto.


Humble House Foods Pesto

8 ounces fresh basil leaves
1 pound Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
8 ounces walnuts
2 ounces fresh, peeled garlic
2 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt

Basil is the main ingredient in a classic pesto.8 ounces walnuts”2 ounces fresh, peeled garlic2 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until desired consistency is achieved. Use immediately or freeze for later. It will last about six months in the freezer, too.

Makes about a quart of pesto.

From Luis Morales at Humble House Foods



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Michael Flores’ Piquant Citrus Sauce with Basil and Spinach

Michael Flores’ Piquant Citrus Sauce with Basil and Spinach

Michael Flores, chef.

Michael Flores, chef and cooking teacher, offered this recipe at the Pearl Farmers Market Saturday. It uses lots of fresh basil, which is flourishing right now. And, calls for two types of cheese along with fresh spinach and some red chile flakes to give it bite.

Piquant Citrus Sauce with Basil and Spinach

1 1/3 ounce fresh basil, trimmed and washed
16 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
15 ounces ricotta cheese (fat free)
10 ounces fresh spinach leaves, trimmed, washed and drained
2 teaspoons red chile flakes, or to taste
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 lemon

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Store in refrigerator and use as needed.

Note: Serve tossed with cannellini beans over salmon fillet, toss with cooked noodles for a pasta salad, mix with diced tomatoes and serve atop toasted croutons for bruschetta, or present alonside grilled or boiled shrimp as a dipping sauce.

From Michael H. Flores (

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