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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Simple Roasted Salsa Brings the Heat Home from Baja
Photo: Liz Rueven

Simple Roasted Salsa Brings the Heat Home from Baja

Working with local chefs and taking cooking classes are two of my favorite ways to get to know a culture when I travel. Stimulating conversations around regional ingredients and farmers’ markets are always illuminating and the chances of getting some off-the-beaten path recommendations for quiet beaches and authentic dining are high.

Before our recent break in Mexico, my on-line research lead me to a Travel and Leisure mention of Flora’s Farm and Kitchen. They called it one of their top recommendations for hands-on cooking experiences in Baja/Cabo in Mexico.

Mexican cooking class Flora Farms and Kosher Like Me
photo: Liz Rueven

Cooking al fresco surrounded by organic fields? check.

Vegetarian menu to suit our dietary requirements? check.

Three hours of hands-on prep, a farm tour and lunch with drinks? check.

On-site bakery and marketplace selling Flora Farms’ organic veggies and herbs? check. check. check.

Kosher Like Me cooks at Flora Farms
Photo: Liz Rueven

The 10 acre farm feels like an oasis in the barren Mexican desert. It’s located way off- the- beaten path of Cabo’s beaches and bars, up a steep dirt road in what must have felt remote when the California ex-pats, Gloria and Patrick Greene, settled there to explore their vision.

We arrived early enough to meander about, wandering the fields that surround one of the restaurants on the property. In fact, the restaurant seemed to have landed in the middle of the fields, providing my favorite kind of scenery.

Kosher Like Me at Flora Farm
Photo: Liz Rueven

We were assured that the class would be appropriate for all cooking levels (sometimes a red flag for me) and in fact it was very basic. But there are always tips to glean and the experience of working outside under the guidance of 3 young cooks and a tortilla making expert made for a convivial and delicious morning.

Kosher Like Me cooks at Flora Farms
photo: Liz Rueven

After learning to make two types of salsa, guacamole and tortillas, we were invited to lunch. It included a bountiful array of salads highlighting the fresh produce and edible flowers from fields just beyond our communal dining table. Herbed rice, long simmered black beans, perfectly fried fish tacos and tangy key lime pie kept us full for the rest of the day.

Kosher Like Me cooks at Flora Farm
Photo: Liz Rueven

Roasted Salsa, with grilled tomatoes, onions, garlic and spicy peppers seems like the perfect recipe to bring home in winter. Until tomato season arrives again here in New England, roasting them will greatly improve their flavor and texture. (Scroll down for recipe)

Kosher Like Me cooks vegetarian in Mexico
Photo: Liz Rueven

Learning how to use a molcajete (Mexican mortar and pestle) enhanced the experience. Our cooking guides swore that they can discern between a salsa chopped by hand, in a processor or pounded in the traditional way in a molcajete. These naturally porous tools are crafted from lava rock and have been used for hundreds of years. While I was ready for a good chef’s knife after using the edge of the tool to break apart roasted serrano and jalapeno peppers, I watched with awe as our instructors broke apart the ingredients with ease.

Roasted salsa Kosher Like Me cooks
Photo: Liz Rueven

Enjoy this roasted salsa with as much heat as you dare to add!

Flora Farms

Flora Farms was happy to accomodate our request for vegetarian and kosher style fish. Cooking classes should be reserved in advance.

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