Eat Mesquite! A Cookbook

Desert Harvesters has worked with sister grassroots group Downtown Harvesters to create:

Eat Mesquite! A Cookbook

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This hardcover, internal spiral-bound cookbook is inspired by the long lines of enthusiastic eaters at the Desert Harvesters’ annual Mesquite Milling Fiesta and Pancake Breakfast in Tucson, Arizona, who beg every year for the famous pancake recipe. Here it finally is, in print, along with nearly 50 other delicious recipes in celebration of mesquite flour, an abundant and easy-to-harvest native food of the Sonoran Desert and beyond. Culled from over 150 community contributions, these favorites will have you eating mesquite for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and more!

Also, learn from experts about the culinary and medicinal uses of Prosopis in arid lands, secrets for cooking with mesquite flour, and how you too can harvest, store, mill and enjoy mesquite pods with tasty, fun and nutritious results.

Eat Mesquite! is hardcover for durability and internal spiral-bound for ease of use in the kitchen.

Book sale information

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  • Eat Mesquite! is available directly from Desert Harvesters via PayPal (see top of this page for Add to Cart button), or for $20 at all the Mesquite Milling Events listed in our Calendar.
  • Wholesale orders are accepted on cookbooks purchased for resale. Minimum quantity is 6 cookbooks. A case contains 40 cookbooks. Click here to download a copy of our wholesale order policy.
  • Eat Mesquite! can also be purchased from the following locally owned supporters of local foods:

IN ARIZONA
Bisbee and Sierra Vista
Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture (BASA) Farmers’ Markets

Phoenix
Rio Salado Audubon Center

Phoenix Public Market

Tucson
Antigone Books

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s Mountain House Gift Shop

Bean Tree Farm Stand
Usually Fridays 4-6pm, but contact BTF for their current schedule

Catalina Automotive

Jeau Allen/Skeleton Creek
Sells books, mesquite flour, and other native foods at St. Phillips Plaza Farmers’ Market

Martha Ames Burgess/Flor de Mayo
Sells books at St. Phillips Plaza Farmers’ Market and at ethnobotany workshops

Maynard’s Market

Native Seeds/SEARCH

Originate Natural Building Showroom

Revolutionary Grounds Books and Coffee

Tohono Chul Park

Tucson Audubon Nature Shop

Univeristy of Arizona Bookstore

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Advance Praise for Eat Mesquite!

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“Mesquite has been a favored food in the Stinkin’ Hot Desert for well over 8,000 years, so why stop now? Praise be to the Desert Harvesters for making “la pechita del mesquite” more hip than hip hop or industrial-strength chip dip. Mesquiteros of the world unite! Ahua!”
- Gary Nabhan, terroir-ist and co-founder of Sabores Sin Fronteras and Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT)

“You’ll love this great collection: from home cookin’ to party fare, mouth-watering recipes celebrating the sweetest native bean trees of the Sonoran bioregion, and more. A toast (hmm, mesquite syrup, lime, tequila, salt?) to the dedicated locavores who made Eat Mesquite! happen.”
- Barbara Rose, Native foods caterer and educator, www.BeanTreeFarm.com

“This is more than a unique cookbook, it is a revelation.”
- Craig Childs, author of House of Rain and The Secret Knowledge of Water

“This book is a reminder of the often over-looked bounty of the Sonoran desert; thoughtful and fun recipes make it a great addition to any cookbook collection. Viva el mesquite!”
- Addam Buzzalini, Executive Chef Maynard’s Market

“The title says it all – “Eat Mesquite!” – a wonderful book that focuses on a plant that’s been incredibly important to cultures for
hundreds of years – today maligned by some, but revered by many who are health-conscious and adventurous. A wonderful compilation by Desert Harvesters for a wonderful plant!”

- Wendy Hodgson, author Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert and Herbarium Curator/Research Botanist at Desert Botanical Gardens

“When I started investigating desert foods, laborious hand grinding was the only way to turn mesquite pods into meal. Now Desert Harvesters has made it easy to lay in a stock of silky, sweet mesquite meal to use in these recipes. A community of creative cooks take you from breakfast through dessert, highlighting again this food that has sustained desert dwellers for untold centuries.”
- Carolyn Niethammer, author of American Indian Cooking: Recipes from the Southwest and The Prickly Pear Cookbook

“While working for the Pascua Yaqui tribe in the 1990s, my co-workers introduced me to the pleasures of chewing mesquite bean pods. I found their sweet woody-honey flavor irresistible and I became somewhat of a connoisseur, preferring the beans from certain trees and carrying a little stash around in my pockets. Beyond chewing them and throwing a few bean pods on the coals of my grill, though, I never knew exactly what to do with them. Finally, with Eat Mesquite!, there is a book that focuses attention on this rich and abundant crop from arid lands. Eat Mesquite! is the new bible for anyone hungry for a new desert crop that, save for the harvest, is produced with little to no effort. The commentary and recipes are authoritative and mouth-watering. Bon appetit mesquite!”
- Scott Calhoun, author of The Hot Garden: Landscape Design for the Desert Southwest

“We are so fortunate to have Desert Harvesters promoting our bountiful native foods. They’ve teamed up with food adventurers, lovers, and researchers to uncover myriad ways of, and advantages to, using what grows naturally in the Sonoran Desert. These tasty explorations invite readers into healthy, diabetes-resistant eating habits, but the education doesn’t stop there. Desert Harvesters is so committed to empowering people to eat the goodness from our ubiquitous native Velvet Mesquite, that they long ago purchased a mobile hammermill to transform sweet and healthy mesquite pods into delectable flour. This quick and easy service is available to anyone willing to collect and store the pods until annual milling events every fall. This wonderful cookbook, along with their website, will teach you how to collect, store, and use this harvest. Don’t miss out!”
- Nancy Zierenberg, Arizona Native Plant Society

Links to Book Reviews

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Sam Thayer, Author of The Forager’s Harvest and Nature’s Garden
www.ForagersHarvest.com

Kevin Dahl, Executive Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH
Review published in the Arizona Native Plant Society’s The Plant Press, Vol. 34, Number 2, Winter 2010/11

Table of Contents

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Acknowledgements x
About Desert Harvesters xi
Introduction 1
Mesquite: Food for the World by Richard Felger and Neil Logan 4
Medicinal Uses of Mesquite by John Slattery 8
How to Harvest, Store and Mill Mesquite 11
Tips for Cooking with Mesquite by Lori Adkison, Sara Jones, & Amy Schwemm 14
Harvesting Other Native and Local Foods 16

THE RECIPES

BREAKFASTS

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Photo credit: Christian Timmerman
Pearl’s Mesquite Pancakes 22
Amy’s Mesquite Pancakes 23
Mesquite Waffles 24
Sonoran Granola 25
Lori’s Granola 26
Mattypants Muffins 27
Lemon Poppy Seed Scones 28
Desert Scones 29

SAVORY DISHES & SIDES

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Photo credit: Christian Timmerman
Mesquite Pizza 32
Mesquite Mole with Chicken or Tofu 34
Southwest Mesquite Beef Stew 35
Mesquite Tamales 36
Mesquite Broth 38
Mesquite Stuffing 39
Mesquite-Pod Grill 40

BREADS & CRACKERS

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Photo credit: Ian Fritz
Mestiza Cornbread 42
San Pedro Corn Bread (wheat free option) 43
Mesquite Almond Chia Crackers (wheat free) 44
Whole Wheat Mesquite Crackers 45
Mesquite Flour Tortillas 46
Cyn-d’s Corn Mesquite Tortillas 47

SPREADS, SAUCES & SYRUPS

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Photo credit: Christian Timmerman
Mesquite Syrup/Jelly 50
Olive Tapenade with Mesquite 51
Solar Barbeque Sauce 52
Prickly Pear Syrup/Jelly 53

SWEETS

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Photo credit: Christian Timmerman
Mesquite Rugelach 56
Almond Biscotti 57
Sonoran Cookies 58
Kukukadoo Solar Cookies 59
Chocolate Mesquite Brownies (wheat free) 60
Mesquite Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies 61
Secret Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies 62
Amy’s Apple Crisp 63
Mammoth Mesquite Chocolate Swirl Cookies 64
Rhubarb Mesquite Crisp 66
Basic Yellow Mesquite Cake 67
Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes (wheat free) 68
Valencia Easter Cake or “La Mona de Pasqua” 69
Lemon Ginger Mesquite Cupcakes 70
Mesquite Ice Cream 72
Mesquite Toffee 73
Sonoran Baklava 74
Jacqueline Soule’s Mesquite Baklava 76
Pastel de Choclo 78
Mesquite Pie Crust (vegan) 79
Saguaro Pie 80

DRINKS

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Photo credit: Christian Timmerman
Mesquite Milkshake 82
Mesquite Coffee 83
Mesquite Pinole 84
Champurrado 85
Prickly Pear Lemonade 86
Prickly Pear Sorbet 87

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2009 Kick Off Community Mesquite Recipe Tasting

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The process of the cookbook’s creation also built and educated community, as we worked with many individuals, chefs, and community groups to find, perfect, and share fantastic recipes celebrating our delicious and abundant native foods.

To that end we had a mesquite foods tasting and celebration on June 20, 2009, in the new Mercado on West Congress. It was great fun and tasty! Some of the mesquite treats featured included:

Mesquite ice cream
Mesquite beer
Mesquite/olive tapenade
Mesquite juice
Mesquite cornbread, and oh so much more!

Prior to the tasting we had a demonstration on how to harvest, store, and process mesquite pods for eating.

We hope to make this an annual event to kick off the harvest season before the monsoon rains.

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Community Mesquite Recipe-Tasting Photos

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Photos from the mesquite recipe-tasting event, courtesy of Ian Fritz, are posted below.

Green Press Initiative Information

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