Aioli - Mais Oui!

Recipe Provided by Susan Reda

1 large egg yolk
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
½ kosher salt
2 t water
¼ cup grape seed oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
fresh lemon juice
freshly ground pepper


Using the widest part of your chef’s knife, smash garlic clove with ¼ t of the salt, making a grainy paste.

Place egg yolk, garlic salt paste, and water in a small bowl. Whisk, enthusiastically, until ingredients are incorporated.

Whisking, somewhat vigorously, add grape seed oil, one teaspoon at a time, until the sauce is emulsified and begins to thicken.

Whisking, constantly, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil.

Stir in cayenne and add lemon juice, pepper and additional salt to taste

Butternut Squash Gratin

by Sheri Castle of Creative Cooking with Sheri Castle

I love this gratin. It brings out the silky, naturally sweet flavor of winter squash without adding lots more sugar or other sweeteners. Instead, it is laced with fresh herbs and topped with a delicate, crunchy, nutty Gruyere crust. Simple, yet impressive, this is a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. I will admit that it takes a little work to peel a butternut squash. I suggest cutting it into large pieces and then peeling those pieces with several passes of a vegetable peeler.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
4 cups thinly sliced onions (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 9x13 non-metal baking dish.

Peel and seed the squash and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and squash and sauté them until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar, salt and pepper over the squash and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender and begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

Spread the squash mixture into the prepared baking dish. Pour over the chicken broth. Cover the dish with foil and bake the mixture for 15 minutes.

(Make-ahead note: You can prepare the dish to this point up to one day ahead. Remove the foil, let the mixture cool and then cover and refrigerate. Heat the mixture in a 350º oven for 10 minutes before proceeding.)

Increase the oven temperature to 400º. Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, rosemary and thyme in a bowl. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the squash mixture. Bake the gratin uncovered until the top is golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Let the gratin rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Heart Healthy Hush Puppies

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup yellow grits
½ cup white flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
¾ tsp. seasoned salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
2/3 tsp. baking soda
1/8 cup oil
1/3 cup nuts, finely chopped
Oil for deep frying – use any kind of vegetable oil, NOT solid shortening or lard [safflower, corn, sunflower, peanut, soybean are best for hot temperatures (vs. olive, canola)]

A mixture of vegetables finely chopped – about 1-1½ cups total. Choose anything you like but include onions.
Other options that are good – experiment with your favorites:
Red or green bell peppers (or hot peppers if you dare!)

  • Eggplant
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Zucchini or yellow squash
  • Okra
  • Cabbage


Begin heating the oil for deep frying (medium to high heat) – about 1 ½ inch depth.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix all wet ingredients in separate bowl.

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Add chopped nuts and vegetables.

Add more buttermilk if needed for the consistency of cornbread (very thick
pancake batter)

Drop batter into the heated oil using a small spoon. The oil should bubble vigorously around the dough. Turn the puppies with a slotted spoon to brown them on all sides. It should take only 2-3 minutes to cook.

Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Enjoy!

Kale Chips

Makes 6 servings

1 bunch kale
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
Chili flake (if desired)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the kale leaves from the stem and tear leaves into bite sized pieces. Drizzle kale with oil and sprinkle with salt (other spices) to taste.

Bake until edges brown but don’t burn, 10-15 minutes.

Pazzo’s Gazpacho

Serves 8

4 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 zucchini
1 squash
2 cucumbers
1 small red onion
1 green pepper
¼ pound basil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon or lime
Salt and pepper


Thoroughly wash and dry all vegetables. Core and quarter tomatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Lightly salt and pepper the tomatoes and let stand for five minutes. This will start to draw the liquid out of the tomatoes as well as pre-seasoning your gazpacho. Using either a Cuisinart or a blender puree all of the tomatoes with the red wine vinegar. After the tomatoes have in been pureed pass the puree thorough a fine food mill or strainer to remove skins and se eds. This step
can be skipped if you like your gazpacho chunky or do not mind the seeds and are using thin-skinned tomatoes.

Finely dice all of the vegetables and add to tomato puree. I like to remove the seeds from the zucchini, squash and cucumbers. If you do not have the time to dice all of the vegetables they can be shredded in a Cuisinart.

In a blender puree the basil with juice from one lemon or lime with the olive oil. Next add the basil puree to the tomato and vegetable mixture and stir well. Check seasoning and you are ready to go. Your gazpacho can then be chilled and served when you are ready for it. Keep in mind the longer the vegetables are in the tomato puree the softer they will become. If you like your vegetables really crunchy serve with in 2 hours.

Spanish Style Tomato Toast Sandwich

Recipe provided by Sheri Castle
Makes 1 to 2 servings

6-inch length of baguette, halved lengthwise
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons of the very best extra-virgin olive oil
1 large,dead ripe, juicy tomato
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.


Toast the baguette in a 500 degree oven until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Rub the garlic over the crisp bread and then drizzle it with oil. Cut the tomato in half crosswise and grate it on the largest holes of a box grater, collecting the pulp in a small bowl. Discard the core and skin. Spoon the tomato pulp over the hot bread. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve at once.

Note: If the toasted bread is very nubby and crunchy, you can "grate" the tomato directly onto the bread.

Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes

Recipes provided by Melanie Raskin (adapted from Cooking Light)

(Serves 4)

4 large tomatoes, cored in a cone shape (for stuffing)

NOTE: I like to mix the colors for fun and beauty!*

1/2 cup goat cheese *
1/4 cup chopped scallion or sweet onion *
1/2 tsp salt
2 T chopped sage *

Variation: Pheta & Rosemary:
1/2 cup Pheta cheese *
1/4 cup chopped scallion or sweet onion *
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 T chopped rosemary *

Variation: Smoked Cheese & Parsley:
1/2 cup smoked cheese *
1/4 cup chopped scallion or sweet onion *
1/2 tsp salt
2 T chopped parsley*

Variation: Fresh Mozzarella Cheese & Basil:
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese *
1/4 cup chopped scallion or sweet onion *
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 T chopped basil*


Mix the ingredients. Spoon the mixture into the four hollowed out tomatoes, packing firmly.

Grill tomatoes 10 to 15 minutes till the tomatoes soften.

Serve over hot pasta, one tomato per person.

Chilled Tomato and Peach Soup

Recipe provided by Sheri Castle

Confession: this recipe is really quick and easy, but not fast. To get the full effect of this delicious combination of fruity flavors, the soup must be deeply chilled for a long while, at least overnight and preferably longer. (Refrigeration usually ruins tomatoes, but it works here.)
The soup keeps for days, making it just right for a quick refresher when one is about to perish from heatstroke.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes
1 1/4 pounds ripe peaches
2 jalapeños or other chiles, or to taste
2 tablespoons white balsamic or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped shallot or sweet onion
2 tablespoons excellent fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup water, as needed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


You will need 1 cup finely diced tomatoes, 1 cup finely dic
ed peaches, and one of the jalapeños to make a
relish for garnish, so set aside enough whole tomatoes a
nd peaches to make it.

Core the remaining tomatoes and cut them in half crosswise. Discard any pockets of green gloppy seeds. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and place them in a blender. Peel, pit, and coarsely chop the peaches and add them to the blender. Coarsely chop the remaining jalapeño and add it to the blender. Add the vinegar, shallot, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Purée until very smooth; be patient, this can take up to 2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water to get it moving. Strain the purée through a fine sieve into a large bowl or jar. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least overnight.

Just before serving, finely dice the reserved tomatoes, peaches, and jalapeño. Place in a small bowl and toss with the lemon juice and about 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, check the seasoning and then ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Spoon a little of the tomato and peach relish into the center and serve straightaway.

Note: To transform this soup into a light entrée or first course, place a few well-seasoned cooked shrimp in the bowl when you add the relish

Chunky Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Recipe provided by Sheri Castle

For little effort, this recipe rewards you richly. Although any variety or combination of tiny tomatoes will work, I highly recommend using at least some Sungolds because the roasting concentrates and intensifies their flavor. You can use any pasta shape you wish, but it needs to be short and sturdy; the sauce is too chunky to cling to long, thin noodles.

Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 pounds (3 to 4 dry pints) very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved if larger than a marble
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Pour about one-third of the oil in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place the tomatoes in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over it all. Bake the tomatoes until they are cooked through and starting to brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until cooked al dente. (See the recommended time on the package.) Time the pasta so that it finishes cooking about the time the tomatoes are ready to come out of the oven.

Drain the pasta and pour it into the baking dish of tomatoes.

Gently stir in the walnuts, zest, juice, basil, parsley, and cheese. Add a little more oil if the mixture seems dry. Everything should glisten, but the oil shouldn’t pond up in the bowl.

Season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and serve immediately

Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad with Feta

Recipe by Erin Jobe and Margaret Krome-Lukens

1 pint of sweet cherry or plum tomatoes
1 medium to large cucumber
1/2 small sweet onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
splash of white wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
4 oz feta cheese


Chop or slice the cucumbers and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces (if the skin of the cucumber is bitter you may want to peel it first). Finely dice the onion. Mix ingredients with olive oil and a splash of white wine vinegar, and add a touch of salt & pepper. Let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving if you have the time – longer is better!

Re-toss the salad and top with crumbles or small cubes of feta just before serving.

Note: as it sits and with tossing, this salad generates more "juice." The juice that is left over once the veggies are gone is a delicious marinade for another salad: just grate carrots into it, let them sit a bit, and enjoy again!

Tomato and Chèvre Tarts in Cracker Crusts with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Recipe by Sheri Castle


1 3/4 cups crushed Ritz crackers, mixture of fine and coarse crumbs (about 5 oz. or 42 crackers)
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 ounces chèvre cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 scallions (white & tender green parts), cut into very thin rounds
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 pound colorful miniature tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup packed basil leaves
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Makes 6 servings.


Directions for the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange six mini tart pans (4 1/2 -by- 3/4-inch) with removable bottoms on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss together the crumbs, cheese, and pepper in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the crumbs until the mixture looks like moist sand. Divide the crumb mixture among the tart pans, about 5 tablespoons per pan. Press the crumbs firmly across the bottom and up the sides of the pans. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake until dark golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Directions for the Filling:
Stir together the chèvre, ricotta, oil, scallions, thyme, zest, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
Divide the filling among the cooled crusts. Spread the filling gently to the edge of the crusts. Cut the small tomatoes in half crosswise. Cut any tomatoes larger than a ping-pong ball crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the tomatoes attractively over the filling. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and a little pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are just beginning to bubble and the cheese turns golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette.

Directions for the Vinaigrette:
Place the basil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to coarsely chop. Add the vinegar, juice, zest, honey, and oil. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


To serve: Remove the rims from the tart pans. Run a thin knife along the bottom of the tart to gently loosen it from the pan. Place the tarts on serving plates. Drizzle the tops with the vinaigrette and serve at once.

Note: You can replace the miniature tomatoes with a large tomato that is about the same diameter as the tart pans. Cut the tomato crosswise into six equal slices, each a scant 1/2 inch thick. If the tomato is very ripe and juicy, set the slices on a wire rack lined with paper towels. Sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Blot them dry before placing them on the filling.

Ginger and Pear Cranberry Sauce

Recipe provided by Elizabeth Zander, South Durham Farmers’ Market Manager

Spice up a holiday favorite with local baby ginger and pears!

1 tablespoon freshly minced baby ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cups water
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
12 ounces of cranberries
2 firm peeled pears, chopped in ½ inch cubes


Bring water, sugar, salt, ginger and cinnamon to a boil in a medium saucepan stirring occasionally.

Add cranberries and chopped pears to saucepan and return to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until most of the cranberries have popped, about 5 minutes.

Cool to room temperature before serving.


**Want to make your sauce even more local? Substitute half the sugar with local honey!


Sweet Potato Hash with Caramelized Onions, Sausage and Eggs

Recipes provided By UNC Nutrition Cooking Classes

Serves 8

2 pounds onions (about 2 large)
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
(1 pound fresh Italian sausage or chorizo)
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large)
6 gloves garlic
4 long stalks rosemary (about ¼ cup leaves)
3 TBS olive/canola oil
8 large eggs
Grated hard cheese, e.g. parmesan


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Peal the onions, cut them in half lengthwise, then cut into half-moons. Cut those half-moons in half again.

Melt butter in skillet over medium high heat; when it foams, add onions and sprinkle with salt. Stir occasionally to keep from burning. Cook until they are dark brown.

In a separate skillet, brown the sausage over medium high heat, chopping into fine crumbles as you go. Cook about 10 minutes, or until browned and beginning to crisp. Drain excess fat into a jar for proper disposal.

While onions and sausage are cooking, chop unpeeled sweet potatoes into ½ inch sided cubes. Finely mince the garlic and rosemary. Toss potatoes, garlic, and rosemary in a bowl with olive oil, kosher salt, and lots of black pepper.

When the onions and sausage are brown, add to sweet potato bowl.

Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spread sweet potatoes evenly. Roast for 30-45 minutes, or until
they are soft and browned.

When potatoes are almost ready, heat a small amount of oil in a skillet o
ver medium heat. Fry eggs to taste. Serve
egg over a helping of hash. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.

Tomato-Carrot Chutney

Recipe Provided By Vimala Rajendran, Owner and Chef at Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe
Visit her website at

1 quart diced carrots
2 quarts diced tomatoes
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
4 tablespoons chana dal or yellow split peas
10 dry, red arbol chilies
4 guaillo
1/4 cup chopped ginger
1 sprig (16-20) curryleaves


3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
2 tsp. salt

Place the carrots and tomatoes on a sheet pan, spray cooking oil lightly
and roast in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Set aside to cool.

While the tomato and carrots are roasting prepare the spices.

Heat about 1/4 oil in a dutch oven. Add mustard seeds, and when they begin to pop, add the 4 tablespoons chana dal or yellow split peas
10 dry, red arbol chilies
1/4 cup chopped ginger
1 sprig (16-20) curryleaves and fry until the ginger changes color to golden

Add salt to the roasted veggies and grind with a cup or two of water and the tamarind pulp in a blender until smooth. Return the chutney puree to the dutch oven, and simmer on a medium heat until it comes to a boil. Stir frequently, and let simmer on medium low heat for about 30 minutes. 

Let cool and serve as a sandwich spread or dip.

Vimala’s Bhaji

Recipe by Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe

  • Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan.
  • Add 1 Tbsp of mustard seeds, cover and let them pop.
  • Add 2 tsp of urad dal and let the dal brown lightly.
  • Then add chopped onions, green chilies as well as curry leaves, garlic paste, cumin, salt, and turmeric. Saute until the onions are light brown.
  • Toss in cauliflower leaves, broccoli stems, diced carrots and other firm ingredients. Add washed, chopped kale (or similar greens) and keep incorporating more as they wilt.
  • Salt to taste.

Located in the Courtyard, W. Franklin St, Chapel Hill
Visit them at

Zuppa di Zucchini al Basilica - Zucchini Soup with Basil

from the c’est si bon! kitchen 919-942-6550
Phone: (919) 942-6550

serves 6


Ingredients for the soup:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chipped
1 1/2 lb courgettes, any variety of zucchini or summer squash, sliced
2 potatoes, diced
12 large basil leaves, finely chopped
2 1/2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and pepper


Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based saucepan and fry the onion and over a low heat until soft but not colored.

Add the courgettes, mix well and sweat over low heat for another 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes and basil to the pan and stir over a mode rate heat for 3-4 minutes then add the stock. bring slowly to a boil, cover the pan and simmer over a moderate heat for 10 minutes. puree the soup with a stick blender, if desired. serve warm or chilled.

Zucchini Noodles with Arugula Pesto (Gluten free and Vegan!)

This recipe is both Vegan and Gluten free!

(serves 2)

Noodle Directions:
3 small organic zucchini
Keep the skins on for added nutrient boost. Use a spiralizer, a mandolin, or you can make “ribbons”
using an ordinary vegetable peeler. Set aside in a colander for excess moisture to escape.

Arugula Pesto Ingredients:
3 garlic cloves, chopped
½ cup raw walnuts, soaked 4 hours or overnight
3 cups arugula
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast


Blend garlic and nuts in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add remainder of ingredients to food processor and blend till desired smoothness. Makes one heaping cup. When ready to eat, combine zucchini and pesto until "noodles" well covered. Serve immediately.


Health Benefits:
Zucchini noodles make a fantastic pasta alternative. As a summer squash it has antioxidant qualities, benefits blood sugar levels, and reduces inflammation. Arugula is high in Vitamin A, keeping your skin beautiful, it's alkalinizing, keeping your body free of disease and also a good source of vitamins C and K, iron, calcium, and fiber. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, with eighteen amino acids and fifteen key minerals, such as zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese and copper.

What is a health coach?
Healthy eating is just one aspect of healthy living. In addition to weight loss and increased energy, healthy living rewards you with feelings of spontaneous happiness! Could you use more of that? Would you like the support and accountability of a health coach to help you reach your goals?


To discover how much healthier you can be visit: or call me at 919-

Phone: (919)680-4818 |

Whole Roasted Curried Cauliflower

Recipe provided by Mary Jobe

1 large head of cauliflower
3 tbsp. of Olive Oil
1 ½ tsp. curry powder (or other spice of choice!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Core cauliflower leaving the whole head intact. Rub a thin layer of olive oil over the head. Sprinkle curry powder, salt and pepper over the head. Place cauliflower in a shallow baking dish or tray. Let cauliflower roast for about one hour or until tops are slightly caramelized and crisp - tender.

HINT: You can cover the top of the dish with foil to keep tops from burning.


Whipped Baked Sweet Potatoes with Orange Juice and Pecans

By Elizabeth Krome

5-7 pounds sweet potatoes
1 to 2 cups of orange juice
4 Tbsp butter
cinnamon to taste
nutmeg to taste
¼ cup brown sugar if needed
whole pecans


Wash sweet potatoes, prick with a fork and bake in oven for about an hour at 425 F.

When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove skins and put in blender. Taste potatoes; if they are sweet already, you won’t need to use the brown sugar. Add most of the butter (save a bit of it for dotting the top of the potatoes at the end) and part of the orange juice and blend. (Note: you can also pre-bake the sweet potatoes and store them in the fridge until you are ready, but it will be harder to mix in the butter evenly if the potatoes aren’t warm.) Add more orange juice as needed to get a good consistency
in the blender, and to taste. Add nutmeg and cinnamon to taste, and brown sugar if needed, and blend until the mixture is fluffy.

Pour mixture into a casserole or baking dish, top with pecans and dot with the remaining butter, and bake for 20-30 minutes at 325 F. Baked sweet potatoes will not "set", but baking improves the flavor. Serve warm.


Watermelon-Ginger Agua Fresca

by Molly Stevens, from

10 cups 1-inch pieces peeled watermelon (from about 8-pound watermelon), seeded, divided
3 cups cold water, divided
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup (or more) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger juice* (from one 3-ounce piece of ginger; see below for how-to)
Ice cubes
Lime wedges


Place 2 1/2 cups watermelon and 3/4 cup cold water in blender. Puree until smooth. Pour agua fresca into large pitcher.

Repeat 3 more times with remaining watermelon and cold water.

Add lime juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and ginger juice to pitcher and stir
to blend. Add more sugar by tablespoonfuls, if desired.

Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled. Stir before serving.

Fill glasses with ice cubes; pour agua fresca over. Garnish each glass with lime wedge and serve.


Notes & Variations:
To make ginger juice, peel a 3-ounce piece of ginger and grate it over a plate. Wrap in cheesecloth; twist at both ends to squeeze out the juice; or, put the grated ginger in a fine mesh sieve and press to release the juices. You can also substitute bottled ginger ale or a stronger, less sweet non-alcoholic ginger beer from the grocery store, and omit the sugar.

Add sparkling water for a fun watermelon fresco soda!

For a delicious adult beverage, you can add vodka, gin, or tequila.