Mother Earth Living

A Southwestern Harvest Feast

These Arizona herb lovers know how to eat. And they know a thing or two about cooking as well

Photography by Christiaan Blok
As evening falls, the Arizona sun relents and guests linger over plates piled high with the delights of the herbal feast. Conversation turns to gardening . . . and dessert.
Members of the Arizona Herb Association’s Culinary Group present the results of their ­experimentation with herbs in Southwestern cuisine in a sumptuous harvest feast. This page: Mike Hills stirs together corn, ­zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes in a ­charcoal-fired wok to make a festive dish he calls Stir-Fried ­Calabacitas.
Photography by Anybody Goes
A guest checks out Walter Leveen’s lush herb ­offerings, leftovers from an earlier herb fair sponsored by the Arizona Herb Association. Below: Phyllis Mack’s Mocha Mole Chicken contains an intriguing combination of coffee, cocoa, ­cinnamon, and chiles and is served with garlic, chile, and cilantro sauce.
Carole Palmer puts finishing touches on coreopsis arrangements for the tables.
Contrasting layers in Sandra and Jim Jefferies’ colorful vegetable terrine echo fall tones found in nature. Tepary beans and squash enhance the regional flavor.
Joan Allen’s Cornbread Salad, which took a prize at the Arizona Herb Association’s annual cook-off, combines crunchy raw vegetables, pimentos, and peanuts with crumbled cornbread.
Edible flowers add interest and color to a green salad.
A plate piled high with herbal dishes at the ­Harvest Feast.
Pecans spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg add depth and crunch to Dorothy Gunderson’s Pumpkin-Pecan Flan, a new twist on a popular Southwestern dessert.
Chile ­peppers and sage flavor the traditional beans, corn, and squash in Cindy Bearce’s Three Sisters Stew, which she serves with Green Chile Cornbread.
Laura Ruffalo’s Lavender Muscat Wine Cake contains citrus, grapes, and lavender—all of which thrive in Southwest ­gardens—in a mouthwatering dessert.

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