Today is the second day of August, and anyone who thinks summer is winding down should come and tend our garden. We are, in fact, only mid-way through my favorite season and our garden is bursting with a colorful variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs that we’ve been using daily in our deliciously fresh summer dishes.
Today I went to the Bernards Inn garden in search of the freshest, plumpest and tastiest vegetables and herbs to use in our dishes tonight. It was the first step in the process that we call, “garden to plate.” It was about 90 degrees and Mother Nature reminded me that summer is far from over.
The tomatoes are abundant as are the squashes, eggplants, peppers, and cucumbers. It is amazing how consistent the herbs are at letting us know precisely how far we’ve moved into summertime. The lovage, chervil, and mint thrive in the warm days and cool nights of late spring and early summer, while the basils, fennel, lavender, and oregano are growing at a pace that is almost impossible to keep trimmed during the hottest days of summer.
I spent an hour and a half picking what was ripe for tonight’s dinner service and cutting herbs for all the various sauces, pesto, and garnishes that we would be using.
Our petit heirloom tomatoes were used for a garnish on a ceviche appetizer.
On our roasted rack of lamb we utilized eggplant and fennel blossoms that were so sweet and full of licorice flavor it blew us away. I am very thankful that our culinary team has this garden at our finger tips. It is a truly special experience. And I am very pleased because the garden showed me today that there is still plenty of summer left.
Please try the ceviche appetizer and swordfish entrée soon, as they’re specials we’ve placed on the menu through Friday.
Corey Heyer, Executive Chef