Joshua Tree High Desert Retreat Recipe

By Sophia Kercher/Rachael Narins

Picture this: you’ve escaped to the desert to explore the stark beauty of Joshua Tree. You are picnicking by the pool with a cocktail in hand, enjoying a picturesque landscape and the company of fellow creatives. While sampling a cool, minty salad, don’t be surprised if the reflection in the pool offers you a glimpse into your future as the next Hemmingway. Writing Pad’s High Desert Retreat can help make this dream come true. This weekend get-a-way offers all day writing workshops and one-on-one consultations with award-winning writers and literary agents who will help you coax your words onto the page and hone your craft. Last year’s retreat-goers still talk about how much they accomplished and the cool respite of al fresco evenings with delicious, gourmet food and new friends.

Don’t wait to set your writing goals higher. Sign up by calling 323-333-2954 or email marilyn@writingpad.com to sign up before it is full. Only 2 spots left!

And to tide you over until October, our Retreat Co-Executive Chef, Rachael Narins of Chicks with Knives has been gracious enough to share her refreshing salad recipe so you can get a taste of the retreat in your own kitchen.

Zucchini and Mint Salad – From Chicks with Knives (Serves 4)
The zest of citrus, fresh mint, and crisp zucchinis currently at the peak of their season combine to cool down a desert day and replenish your energy. The results are delicious, vegan, and gluten free so everyone can enjoy.
8 small zucchini, sliced thin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
Sprinkle salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Fill a bowl with ice water, add the zucchini and refrigerate for two hours. Drain and dry well. Arrange the slices on a serving plate.

In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Pour dressing over the zucchini and serve immediately!

If that didn’t make you lick your lips in anticipation, then check out Rachael’s sumptuous sample dinner menu for the retreat. We’ve heard whispers that after this meal, folks have been known to write poems devoted to autumn vegetables—or at the very least be inspired by the vibrant colors of their dinner before them!

Sample Dinner Menu for High Desert Retreat
Autumn Salad of Persimmon, Asian Pear and Spanish Chorizo
Grilled Pumpkin with Chickpeas and Parsley Dressing
Whole Roasted Free-Range Chicken with High Desert Lemony Carrots
Double Fudge Chunk Brownies with Fresh Churned Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


We can’t wait to excavate your inner-Hemmingway and sip margaritas poolside with you at the retreat!