Blackberry Cooler

Makes 4 drinks

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • ⅔ cup sugar + ½ cup sugar, divided 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (plus 4 lemon slices for garnish) 12 ounces good quality lemon-lime soda

Place the blackberries, ⅓ cup sugar, ginger and mint leaves in a food processor (or blender) and pulse about 10 times or until the mixture is consistently chopped; it should look like a textured applesauce. Set aside.

In a small pot, mix the ½ cup sugar with ½ cup water and simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Chill the lemon syrup in the fridge for about an hour.

Fill 4 glasses with ice. Put a heaping spoonful of the berry mixture in the bottom of the glass. Divide the lemon mixture evenly among the four glasses and give the drink a stir.

Top each drink with a few ounces of the lemon-lime soda and garnish with a lemon slice. Serve immediately.


Goat Cheese and Blackberries, A Summer Love Affair


Words and photos by Sara Axelrod, special to Edible DC

French chef Jacques Pepin once said, “If you have extraordinary bread and extraordinary butter, it's hard to beat bread and butter.” That's how I feel about blackberries this summer. They have reached the peak of their growing season right now and have been exceptional, standing up to the heat, plump and sweet. The epitome of the perfect summer berry, blackberries are the perfect accompaniment to both sweet and savory dishes.

The recipes here really showcase blackberries at their peak. Simple ingredients, unassumingly prepared, coming together to create a delicious dish that tastes the way summer should.

Warm Goat Cheese and Blackberry Salad with Honey Thyme Vinaigrette

This salad pairs the sweet and complex berry with creamy warm goat cheese medallions perfectly accentuating the summer’s best ingredients. (Serves 2.)


Goat Cheese Medallions

- 1 large egg white

- 1 teaspoon of water

- 4 (1/3 inch thick) medallions of soft goat cheese (keep the log in the

refrigerator until ready to cut)

- 3 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs

- 1 tablespoon olive oil

Honey Thyme Vinaigrette

- 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar

- 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin-olive oil

- 1 teaspoon of honey

- ½ teaspoon of fresh thyme, finely minced (dried can also be used)

- Salt and Pepper to taste


- 4 cups of mesclun greens or an assortment of summer greens

- 3 spears of hearts of palm, sliced into ¼ inch coins

- ¼ cup of thinly sliced sweet onion


Whisk together egg white and water. Dip cheese rounds in egg wash, evenly coating. Shake off the excess then dredge in breadcrumbs, pressing lightly to adhere. Chill 15 minutes.

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in small skillet on high heat until hot but not smoking. Place cheese medallions in oil and sear evenly on both sides until crisp and golden brown. About 30-40 seconds per side. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assemble the greens, hearts of palm rounds and onion slivers on a plate. Gently place goat cheese medallions on greens. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

Note: The easiest way to cut goat cheese into perfect rounds is with a piece of unflavored dental floss.

Goat Cheese and Blackberry Grilled Cheese with Basil and Summer Greens


Accompanied by a simple summer green salad, this is the perfect treat for a lazy afternoon. Look for firm, plump berries at your local farmers market. The goal is to choose berries that are firm enough to hold their shape when surrounded by melted cheese—so that when you bite into the sandwich the berry juice bursts in your mouth. (Makes 2 sandwiches.)

Goat Cheese and Blackberry Grilled Cheese with Basil


- 4 slices of your favorite bread (I prefer the Seeduction bread from Whole Foods)

- 1 small log of fresh goat cheese- with herbs or without based on your preference

- 1 pint of blackberries

- High quality butter for spreading

- 5-6 leaves of fresh basil


Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter and place bread, buttered-side down, in a pan over medium-high heat. Top each slice with crumbled goat cheese, roughly ½ tablespoon-1tablespoon depending on the size of the bread slices. Cover pan. Slice blackberries in half and set aside. Chiffonade the basil so you have very thin strips and set aside.

Once the bread has the beginnings of a nice golden crisp and the cheese is beginning to melt, top each slice with the halved blackberries (roughly 4-8 halves depending on the bread) and top with the basil to your own taste. I prefer a light layer of basil, about 5-6 pieces per sandwich.

Combine the 4 separate tartines into two sandwiches. Cover and continue to cook over medium heat for another minute being careful not to burn the bread. Flip the sandwich and sear the other side. Remove from the heat and leave covered until the cheese is melted.

Slice in half and serve with a simple salad of summer greens.

Summer Green Salad



- 3 cups of assorted and available summer greens (arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, purslane)

- ¼ cup of shaved pecorino

- ¼ cup of sweet onion thinly sliced


- ½ teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest

- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

- 1 teaspoon of honey

- ½ teaspoon of mustard seed

- ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt, or to taste

- 3-4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

- Ground white pepper to taste


Wash greens and set aside to dry. Combine all dressing ingredients and stir vigorously until combined. Toss dressing with greens and garnish with pecorino and onion. Serve alongside Goat Cheese and Blackberry Grilled Cheese with Basil.


Hawaii/Colorado native and DC transplant, Sara Axelrod is a frequenter of farmers markets, vegetable enthusiast and constantly lusts after the perfect French fry. When she is not cooking or exploring DC’s thriving restaurant scene, she works at the DC-based public affairs firm, The Glover Park Group, as a communications professional on the Energy and Sustainability team, with a focus on food policy and sustainable agriculture.

Blackberry Cobbler with Lavender Ice Cream

Willowsford_Blackberry_LowResBy Bonnie Moore, special to Edible DC This dessert is remarkably easy to put together and the rewards are delicious. Sweet summer fruit with a buttery biscuit topping—what’s not to love? Blackberries are at the peak of their flavor; try this now or freeze some blackberries to make a cobbler later.

Blackberry Cobbler

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

5 cups blackberries

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

⅓ cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Place the berries in a saucepan, stir in the sugar mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the fruit mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add the butter and cut it into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter until the butter is the size of small peas. Gently stir in the buttermilk. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times until the dough forms a ball.

Roll out the dough and gently place it over the fruit just inside the baking dish. Cut a few slits in the top with a knife. Bake on a baking sheet until the biscuit topping is lightly browned, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Lavender Ice Cream

This sumptuous ice cream is delightful on its own or paired with a summer fruit dessert made with berries or peaches.

4 egg yolks

⅓ cup sugar

2 tablespoons lavender blossoms

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

Set aside an empty bowl for the ice cream base. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a small stainless steel saucepan. Place the milk and lavender blossoms in another small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Pour the milk through a strainer to remove the lavender blossoms, and return the milk to a boil. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the yolk mixture constantly over medium heat until it thickens slightly and coats the spoon. Immediately pour the custard sauce into the empty bowl, add the cream and cool. Refrigerate until fully chilled, then freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 2 cups.

BonnieMooreBonnie Moore is culinary director of the Willowsford Kitchen. A professionally trained chef, she began her career at The Inn at Little Washington. She has also been a leading chef instructor for L’Academie de Cuisine for over 20 years. Moore is past president and current board member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and consults on a variety of culinary initiatives and events.