Local & Organic Recipes

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is on a mission to bring local, organic food to your table from a farmer who shares your values.  We believe that when farmers grow foods raised with community, health, and the environment at their heart, the result isn’t just better flavors—it’s a better world.

Join us at the table! Become a member of CFSA!

Summer Bonfire Cocktail

by Clark Barlowe, Owner of Heirloom Restaurant in Charlotte and Bartender, Dexter Dunan 

Summer bonfire

Photo from sailespiritu.blogspot.com

Heirloom Restaurant is my dream. I opened Heirloom’s doors in early February 2014. My vision for the restaurant is to showcase the plethora of ingredients and producers that North Carolina offers by serving dishes that do justice to the dedication of the over 70 farmers and producers from which Heirloom sources. Changing the menu daily to reflect the availability of the farms and what North Carolina has to offer, my staff and I prepare a 12 course tasting menu utilizing local ingredients. But we constantly seek to expand the perception of what local can entail, as we work year-round to preserve ingredients in their purest form, and thus have the capacity to offer the bright flavor of blueberries in December, tomato soup in February, and carrots in August. Guests’ palates are also treated to unique ingredients, such as  reindeer moss, hen of the wood mushrooms, strawberry tops, oak leaves, and other delicacies in their purest form and re-imagined through innovative vinegars, pesto, and broths.

At Heirloom we are also committed to creating a sense of community and sharing the joy that comes from a deeper understanding of an ingredient or appreciation for where one’s food is sourced. We hope you enjoy this spicy, summer cocktail; perfect for sipping by a bonfire, surrounded by friends.

2 Cherry Tomatoes
1 Garlic Clove
1 Oz Olive Brine
2 Oz Topo Vodka
10 Dashes Dusty Foothills Hot Sauce (Subsitute Texas Pete if Dusty Foothills not available)
2 Bar Olives
1 Slice Crispy Bacon

Method of Preparation:

1. In a pint glass muddle tomatoes and garlic.
2. Add olive brine, Dusty Foothills, and vodka.
3. Shake with ice and serve cold in a pint glass.
4. Garnish with olives and bacon.


Check out Heirloom’s full farm-to-table menu at www.heirloomrestaurantnc.com/menu.


White Bean Stew with Brussels Sprouts

by Meredith Leigh, Living Web Farms and author of The Ethical Meat Handbook

Photo by Meredith Leigh

Photo by Meredith Leigh


This is a supremely cozy meal, loaded with flavor. The recipe is designed to be vegetarian, but my family eats it with chunks of homemade sausage mixed in. If you have leftover stew, chill it and then run it through a food processor for a healthy white bean dip.


1-1/4 C dry white beans

1 whole onion, chopped

1 T. red pepper flake

1 T. fennel seed, toasted

¾ t. ground mustard

¾ t. dried thyme

1 T. rubbed sage

1 T. sugar

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

about a quart of vegetable stock (can sub in chicken or pork stock, of course)

½ lb. Brussels sprouts or other fall green, sliced into thin strips.

2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil


In a soup pot, warm the olive oil and then add the garlic and onion. As they become soft, add in the sugar and spices. Stir to combine well. Next, add in the beans, and stir to combine them well. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the beans are tender. Towards the end of the cooking time, throw in the greens, and let them simmer until tender. Season everything with a generous amount of salt and pepper and serve warm.


Note: beans can be cooked ahead of time for a super quick stew; however, the flavors will not meld together as well as if you cook the beans with the herbs and aromatics.


You can find other recipes at www.mereleighfood.com/kitchen

Visit livingwebfarms.org for more workshops like the one with Jean-Martin Fortier, complete with a meal from the farm. All workshops are archived in online videos, also accessible online.

Chicken and Grits

A recipe by Isaiah Allen, Chef at The Eddy Pub in Saxapahaw and CFSA’s Sustainable Ag. Conference Food Coordinator

Photo by Dana Trentlage

Chef Isaiah Allen is the mastermind behind the food at this year’s Sustainable Agriculture Conference. Along with the Sheraton’s Chef El Haj Tayouga, he coordinates 3 amazing local, organic meals, as well as snacks and breakfast for the Conference.
Photo by Dana Trentlage


Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 head celery, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • ¼ cup worchestershire
  • 2 cups white grits
  • ¼ lb. unsalted butter, plus 2 Tbsp for veg
  • ¼ lb. a.p. flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot melt 2 Tbsp butter.  Saute the diced carrots, celery, and onion until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).  Add the minced garlic and stir for another minute.  Add the rosemary and thyme sprigs.  Add the whole chicken and fill the pot until the chicken is covered (about 2 gallons).  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 1 ½ hours.  The chicken is ready when the meat can easily shred from the bones.  CAREFULLY strain all the liquid away from meat and vegetables and reserve.  When the chicken is warm enough to handle, carefully remove the meat from the bones.  Discard the bones, herb sprigs, and bay leaves.  What should be left is meat and vegetables.  Cook grits in one pot and make gravy in a second pot.  To make the grits, simmer 6 cups of chicken stock.  Stir in 2 cups of grits and stir until they are done.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a separate pot, melt the ¼ lb. of butter and whisk in the flour.  Cook the roux for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add 3 qts. chicken stock and stir until it thickens.  Once thickened add the hot sauce, worchestershire sauce, reserved vegetables, and picked chicken.  Season with salt and pepper.

To serve.  Ladle grits into a bowl and top with a ladle of the chicken and vegetable gravy.  Enjoy!

Green Gazpacho with Cucumber and Perilla

by Geoff Seelen, Piedmont BioFarm

Green Gazpacho from Piedmont BioFarm

Green Gazpacho from Piedmont BioFarm
Photo by Geoff Seelen

In the summer, we’re always inundated with tomatoes and cucumbers, but more often than not, cucumbers take a backseat to the more glamorous tomato. In this recipe, cucumber provides a cool medium for green vegetables and herbs that will be a cool and refreshing respite from the intense NC heat we’re all experiencing. Perilla, also known as Shiso, grows wild all over our farm. A member of the mint family, it has a unique flavor profile; refreshing, with hints of vanilla. If you don’t have access to this herb, lemon balm or plain old mint will do just fine.


Four medium cucumbers, peeled and chopped with seeds removed

Two zucchini, chopped

One green bell pepper, diced

Two green tomaotes, roasted and chopped

One stick of celery, leaves included, chopped

Four large perilla (shiso) leaves (or a small handful of lemon balm or mint) chopped

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Salt to taste


Put all ingredients in a bowl and macerate in the refrigerator overnight, allowing the salt and vinegar to break down the cell walls of the vegetables. This will allow the mixture to blend easily, making a more homogenized soup. After allowing to marinate, put the ingredients in a blender and puree. Serve cold as an appetizer or a midday snack while trying to beat the heat.


CFSA has been bringing the farm to the table for 37 years, and with your help, we can continue to support farmers across the Carolinas as we build a healthy and resilient food system. Join us!




The Farm Kitchen

The Farm Kitchen at Piedmont BioFarm

The Farm Kitchen: The crew at Piedmont Biofarm in Pittsboro, NC hosts an immersive dining experience that gives guests unique access to the farm through their kitchen and the act of sharing a meal together. The farm’s dining program is led by farmer and chef Geoff Seelen, formerly of the Blue Hill restaurants in New York, who has created an inventive, single-origin cuisine based on what the farm produces from season to season. Tickets are on sale for these monthly dinners at www.piedmontbiofarm.com/dinners


Blueberries Two Ways: Blueberry-Lemon Verbena Preserves and Spiced Blueberry Chutney

by April McGreger, Farmer’s Daughter Pickles and Preserves

Blueberry preserves from Farmers Daughter pickles and preserves Photo by April McGreger

Blueberry preserves from Farmer’s Daughter Pickles and Preserves
Photo by April McGreger

These chunky blueberry preserves reign supreme over pectin-pumped blueberry jam.  Fully ripened fruit contains less pectin, so when making preserves, I like to use one-fourth just under-ripe fruit.  I also love to throw in a few of my favorite herbs from my backyard herb bed, but you can leave them out if you prefer. Put some of these preserves away now, and you’ll no longer relegate your jam to peanut butter sandwiches, but will instead be spooning it over everything from crepes to yogurt to rice pudding and ice cream, and my favorite, cornmeal pancakes for the perfect breakfast.        

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Cooking with Kids – Ensalada Mixta recipe from C’est si Bon!

kid-chefs CFSA (3)

By Dorette Snover, C’est si Bon! Chef Owner and CFSA Member

Since 1997 C’est si Bon!’s mission has been to empower people – with a strong emphasis on kids and teens – with the culinary skills and knowledge to grow, and cook, healthy and nourishing choices at home in an atmosphere of fun and cooperation. Whether its eggplant and tomato season or time for sweet potatoes and collards, we embrace a life lived in the family kitchen.

kid-chefs CFSA (2)

Ensalada Mixta, inspired by our walking “the Way” in Spain
Radish, kohlrabi and carrot salad with a green garlic dressing, 6 servings

In Spain I enjoyed this salad as we walked The Way to Santiago de Compostele, over the course of four weeks, the salad changed from Pamplona to Galicia. So C’est si Bon!’s version exemplifies all the glories of late spring. If you like, it’s easy to change up the appearance of your salad by learning one of the French basic knife cuts, the paysanne. How? Use a sharp chef knife to square off your carrot, kohlrabi, and radish instead of peeling them with a veg peeler. Then slice them into ¼ inch squares.


  • 1 small head each, two varieties of lettuce, washed and spun dry
  • 2 large watermelon radishes or 4 small easter egg radishes, paysanne cut (mince a few of the tops and add to the salad)
  • 1 kohlrabi, paysanne cut (save the leaves to sauté as a green)
  • 1 carrot, paysanne cut
  • 1/2 cup stuffed green olives, chopped


  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 green garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large leaf sorrel, minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces.
  2. Slice the radishes, kohlrabi, and carrot. chop the olives.
  3. Make a bed of lettuce on a large enough platter to facilitate tossing when serving. on top of the bed, place the radishes, kohlrabi and carrots.
  4. Make the dressing in a small bowl. Add in the dijon, and the green garlic. Whisk in the vinegar and then drizzle in the oil. Add the sorrel.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring platter to table, drizzle with dressing, toss the salad and serve!

kid-chefs CFSA

kid-chefs 2014 (79)

C’est si Bon! rests on 3 acres in Chapel Hill and offers nationally recognized Kid-Chef Summer Camps, One to One Cooking Classes, and Corporate Team Building Workshops; all drawing from a working garden of seasonal herbs and vegetables. While our US programs feature a decidedly ‘in-the-french-countryside’ ambiance and philosophy, our menu of offerings includes Culinary Travel to France for Teens and Adults with itineraries focused on cooking classes, retreats, and visits to sustainable farmers and artisans. I am delighted to welcome my son, Erick Snover, to the teaching kitchens of C’est si Bon! in Chapel Hill and France. Erick has worked the last ten years as an Executive Chef in Vail, Colorado, and is an expert in Japanese Kaiseki cuisine. We are expanding our base of operations to C’est si Bon! Rockies, with new kid-chef programs developed by Erick in Colorado.

Roasted Vegetable Croquettes

Recipe by Kris Reid of ModPALEO in Charlotte, NC


Editor’s Note: Kris is a master of the sustainable kitchen and so instead of using recipes that force you to buy things that aren’t in season, her recipes are always written as a guide that you can adapt for any number of servings or for use with whatever ingredients you can find at the Farmers’ Market.


What You’ll Need:

Equal parts parsnip, carrot, sweet potato, rutabaga, and celery root (a total of 5 oz of each will yeild approx 3 croquettes for 8 people)

Cooked sea island peas

Smoked peppers

Egg and Chickpea flour for breading

Canola oil for frying

Olive oil for roasting

Salt and Pepper

Yogurt for dipping sauce (optional)



Peel and cut vegetables into pieces, and toss with olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Roast vegetables (roast each type of vegetable separately, as they will require slightly different cooking times) in a 400 degree oven until fork tender.

In a food processor combine these vegetables with cooked sea island peas to make a firm mixture.

At this point any seasoning can be added or cheese. I like some spicy smoked peppers, but dried peppers would work well, too.

The mixture should be easy to handle and not sticky. Make 1.5 oz balls with your hand, rolling the mixture into an oblong shape.

Put the croquettes on a sheet pan and put in the freezer overnight. (They will be easier to bread if frozen and will cook up nicer for you!)

When ready to use, set up a breading station using egg wash and chick pea flour.

Dip each croquette into egg allowing excess to drip off, then roll in chick pea flour.

Fry in vegetable oil that is at least 360 degrees and is an oil that has a high smoke point such as peanut, canola, or vegetable. The croquettes will be ready within 4-5 minutes.

Serve hot with a dipping sauce if desired. A tangy yogurt dip would be delicious with these spicy Roasted Vegetable Croquettes!


This recipe is a collaboration of Executive Chef Elhaj Tayouga of the Sheraton and Kris Reid.  Kris shared this with us in 2012.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Like all good farmers’ market recipes, make do with what you can find at your market in season—you can use Irish rather than sweet potatoes, use any meats you like and you can add any veggies into the meat mix. The important part is to have some fun and enjoy your food!

This dish takes a little time, but you can make a big batch and freeze the meat component and pull it out whenever you are in the mood for it, especially during those busy weeknights.



Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

2 lbs local ground beef

1 lb local hot sausage

1-2 lbs cooked pulled pork or beef (preferably slow-roasted)

4 medium carrots, diced

3 garlic cloves

1 onion, diced

Roasted green chiles or poblanos, chopped (to taste)

Ripe fresh tomatoes, diced

4 lbs sweet potatoes

¼ lb unsalted butter

½-1 cup milk


For the meat and vegetable filling (can be frozen for up to 2 months)

In a large heavy bottom pot brown your onion and garlic in a little olive oil.

Add the green chiles and mix well.

Add the ground beef and sausage and brown till meat is cooked thoroughly.

Add the diced carrots and a ½ cup of water and simmer gently for about 5 more minutes.

Add the diced ripe tomatoes and cook another five minutes.

Taste for seasoning.


For the mashed sweet potato topping (needs to be made the day of)

Peel and cube your sweet potatoes. Put in a deep pot and cover with cold water (at least 2” above the potatoes) Salt well and bring to a boil. Gently boil for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes.

Put your butter in the bottom of a deep missing bowl and put the drained potatoes on top. A dash of black pepper is optional.

Use either a hand mixer or a potato masher and mash away adding the milk as needed to make a smooth consistency.



For assembly

Get a sturdy 9 x 13 baking dish (or any size dish you like)

Layer a thick amount of meat mix on the bottom.

Smooth a nice layer of mashed sweet potatoes on top.

Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes or until the top starts to slightly brown.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into pie.


Or, come feast on Shepherd’s pie at Angelina’s Kitchen the next time you’re in Pittsboro!

Angelina shared this recipe with us in 2012.

Acorn Squash Two Ways

Both recipes by Jaime DeMent of Piedmont Restaurant in Durham, NC.


Stuffed Acorn Squash

3 medium acorn squash

1 lb pork sausage with extra sage

3 cloves minced garlic

1 small diced onion

2 cups grated asiago cheese

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup broth (chicken or pork)

1 stick unsalted melted butter



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown sausage, onion and minced garlic in skillet.

Stir in broth, 1 cup of cheese and bread crumbs.

Cut squash into halves and remove seeds. Boil the squash, cut portion facing down in an inch of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and brush inside with melted butter. Fill the centers of the partially cooked squash with the stuffing mixture.

Cover and bake for about an hour — until squash is fork-tender.

While baking, brush with butter occasionally to keep squash moist.

Remove lid and add rest of grated cheese to the tops of squash for the last 5 minutes of baking for a crusty cheesy top! Let rest on counter for a few minutes before serving.


Grilled Acorn Squash

2 medium acorn squash

3 cloves minced garlic

2 tbs. dried oregano

1 tbs. crushed red pepper

4 tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


Slice squash crossways into ½ inch slices. Remove seeds.

Drizzle slices with olive oil, vinegar and spices. Let marinate on counter up to one hour.

Grill on hot grill or sear in hot skillet until fork tender (usually 5 to 10 minutes per side, depending on how hot your grill is).

Serve hot as a side dish or main dish meat substitute or chill and dice for a salad ingredient.


Editor’s Note: Why do we love acorn squash? You don’t need to peel it (the skin is edible)!


Jamie DeMent shared this recipe with us in 2011.

Chicken Bouillabaisse

by Chef Suni McMath of Woodruff , SC


In my travels as a Brat (both military and otherwise according to my parents), I often thought my love of bouillabaisse with garlic rouille stemmed from Mediterranean cuisine only to learn later that it was a dish often served by my great-grandmother from the Marseilles region of France. When I fi nally left home and had free license to experiment in my own kitchen (mostly to assume the cost of my disasters), I began trying to recreate the once familiar fl avor. It wasn’t until I used the traditional Provencal combination of leeks, onions, tomatoes, etc, that it finally struck a chord of nostalgia.

My children, however, were horrified at the requisite seafood staring back at them from the savory bowl. Having burned the image of that “proud platter” forever in their minds, I did what any clever mother would do: made it with chicken and changed the presentation. Soon it was a regular request (being addictive in flavor and so good for you) and I could finally cherish those childhood memories from so long ago of a great-grandmother gone too soon.



Here is an adaptation of that recipe for the home cook:


2 Whole chickens, cut up, washed and salted

2 bunches of fresh leeks, trimmed, sliced 1/2” (including the “tender” tops) and washed thoroughly

4 large yellow onions sliced about 1/2” thick

5 lbs fresh tomatoes, stemmed and chopped

1 large can tomato juice

2 Tbsp toasted fennel seeds

1 large orange (separate peel and juice)

2 bay leaves

2 cups dry vermouth

1 whole garlic head peeled and cloves crushed

1 Tbsp saffron threads


In a large dutch oven, brown salted chicken pieces in olive oil a few at a time until lightly crisped. Set aside.

To pan, add leeks and onions, cover and gently sweat on low heat for about 20 minutes until tender and rendered.

Add remaining ingredients including orange peel and its juice.

Adjust salt and other seasonings to taste.

Add chicken, cover and simmer gently until chicken easily pulls from bone – approximately one hour. You may want to remove the bones at this point, but it is not necessary. Adjust to taste as needed.



1 large can roasted red pepper

1 whole garlic, cloves peeled

1 Tbsp oregano

1 cup bread crumbs (for thickening)

2 cups mayonnaise


Puree first four ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth, add bread crumbs and mayonnaise and blend thoroughly. Allow to bloom for at least 2 hours and then add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings accordingly…more mayo to soften the taste, more garlic to heat it up, etc.


To Serve: Over steamed white rice, add a dollop of rouille and surround with bouillabaisse (with plenty of broth), plus crispy bread and butter on the side.


Chef Suni shared this recipe with us in 2010.