All across the farm, we have little blackberry brambles tucked here and there between the heirloom roses, fruit trees, figs, and wisteria vines. For most of the year they go relatively unnoticed compared to their flashier, more prominent counterparts, but come July and August when the berries start shifting from vibrant crimson to lovely deep, dark blue-violet, the blackberries become the star of the show. Often, in the early mornings, our pastry team can be found in the gardens harvesting the ripest berries for use in the kitchens. They stand out, attired in their crisp chef whites.
This week we are sharing Chef Perno’s recipe for Blackberry Buckle, a celebratory little summer dessert that highlights the bright, beautiful flavor of one of our favorite summer berries. Though they are a unique type of pastry, buckles are often compared to coffee cakes and crumbles because of their cake-like texture and sweet streusel top. Traditionally they are made with blueberries, but since we grow such wonderful blackberries right here in the Rio Grande River Valley, it seemed only appropriate to adapt this recipe to include them.
When asked about the inspiration behind this recipe, Chef had only one word: “summer!” – So there you have it, this dish is summer!
Two of the main tenants of Rio Grande Valley Cuisine are freshness and seasonality. Well, nothing is fresher or more seasonal than cucumbers in the summer time. Today we’re sharing our recipe for chilled cucumber soup using some sun-loving organic cucumbers from our own gardens. Bright and refreshing with a subtle complexity (thanks to some amazingly fresh herbs), this delectable soup offers a perfect respite from that hot summer sun. This is a two-day recipe (though it does most of the work itself overnight), but trust us it is worth the wait! The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can easily make it on a weekend and then leave it in the refrigerator so it’s ready whenever you need a quick lunch, snack, or even second breakfast.