Gardens to Tables

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Welcome to Gardens to Tables
Tiato Kitchen Bar Garden in Santa Monica Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Saturday, 10 November 2012 08:27

Tiato thanksgivingYou've gotta love a place that's not only named after an herb (Tiato is a Vietnamese herb in the mint family) but surrounded by a garden filled with herbs and citrus used in its dishes. You've also gotta love a place that comes from a family known for a revered garlic noodle recipe that's revealed only to family members (and made famous at the Crustacean restaurants in San Francisco and Beverly Hills). But you've REALLY gotta love a place that manages to take a vegetable that's fun to grow but not to eat (I'm talking about you, Brussels sprouts) and turns it into a wonderful chopped salad-type side dish by roasting it and adding roasted kale, dates, almonds and garlic in a lime wasabi sauce. I'm going to work on getting the recipe to share here for those growing kale and Brussels sprouts but in the meantime I am happy to introduce you to the House of An's Tiato Kitchen Bar Garden in Santa Monica, which offers breakfast and lunch in both a sit-down cafe and a grab-and-go market.

And, for those who want help with part or all of their Thanksgiving dinner (and want it to be fresh, healthy and organic), An Catering is offering a Thanksgiving dinner (pictured above) available to go from both Tiato and AnQi, their bistro in Costa Mesa and available for pick up the day of or day before Thanksgiving. The menu includes organic, free-range turkey that's been brined in citrus and herbs for 48 hours, a choice of stuffing (turkey-apple sausage and leak; mama's sticky rice with Shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage and chestnuts; and a gluten-free version with caramelized onions and herbs), and a long list of side dishes that include cranberry-orange chutney; haricot vert with water chestnuts and ginger in a butter sauce; smashed yams with rosemary garlic; and, yes, "An's famous" garlic noodles. For more information or to order, visit Tiato Thanksgiving.

 
Oxbow Produce Market's Fuju Persimmon and Avocado Salad Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Friday, 02 November 2012 09:12

oxbow marketOn a recent trip to the Andaz Napa, I took a walk around town and discovered the Oxbow Public Market (how could I not, right?), with its wonderful array of goods -- from coffee to oysters to olive oil to spices. At the Oxbow Produce and Grocery, they not only offered fresh, local and organic produce that included persimmons and avocados and arugula but also a great recipe that brings them all together. Below is their recipe for Fuju Persimmon and Avocado Salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp white miso
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 firm ripe avocados, sliced
1 pound firm ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
2 bunches arugula

Dressing
Blend lemon juice, miso, salt and pepper until smooth. With motor running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream to create emulsion.

Toss gently the sliced avocados and persimmons with the miso dressing to coat evenly.

 
Mii amo's Jicama Salad Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Friday, 12 October 2012 08:36

Mii amo jicama saladNothing says fall like citrus and pomegranates (at least in the fruit realm). Add them to yummy crunchy jicama and a lovely vinaigrette and you have the Jicama Salad from the Mii amo spa at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona. Seasonal, low-cal and delicious. What more could you ask? The recipe, you say? See below. And enjoy!

Vinaigrette (yields 4 cups)
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp Dijon
2 lime zests
2 cups canola oil
taste salt & pepper

Add all ingredients into blender except oil. Blend well. With blender running, slowly drizzle oil in until well emulsified. Add seasoning. Arrange salad ingredients as shown in picture and top with vinaigrette, pomegranate seeds and salt.

Salad (6-8 servings)
2 lbs. jicama, cut into thin matchsticks
4 each oranges, segmented
2 each grapefruits, segmented
2 bunches wild watercress
6-8 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
taste Smoked sea salt

 
The Jolly Oyster Brings Aquaculture-Farm-to-Table to Ventura's San Buenaventura State Beach Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:46

Jolly OysterWhen Mark Reynolds wanted to go into the business of farming healthy, local, sustainable seafood, he quickly learned that the only real sustainable seafood option was to raise filter-feeding molluscs. So he started with oysters and clams. In addition to being sustainable, oysters are packed with vitamins and minerals and low in calories -- only about 10 calories apiece, according to Reynolds, who said that was one less than licking a stamp (and a whole lot tastier).

Reynolds and business partner Mark Venus started their venture down in Baja California in 1997 and seeded their first farm in 1999. They now have two farms producing Kumamoto and Pacific oysters and Manila clams. Many of their oysters and clams go directly to restaurants but consumers who want to buy directly from the source can now visit The Jolly Oyster at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura and either buy the molluscs to take home or just shuck them right there at the park -- which offers picnic benches and outdoor barbecues for a true seaside feast.

If you're interested in doing the latter, you'll need a shucking knife for the oysters (and some charcoal and a skillet, if you're going to be grilling the clams). You'll also need some sauce. Reynolds was kind enough to share his recipes for a mignonette sauce and a Thai chili sauce, both of which go great with the oysters. Even better, the ingredients include many of the things growing in our gardens. Enjoy!

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Tips for Hand Bed Preparation from the Esalen Farm and Garden Print E-mail
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Written by Ann Shepphird   
Thursday, 13 September 2012 13:52

Esalen Bed PrepGood organic gardeners will tell you that they don't grow plants, they grow soil -- and by that they mean a soil rich in organic material. As we begin to pull out our summer crops and get ready for fall planting, it's a good time to take a look at the soil in our garden and do what's necessary to create the "healthy dirt" -- or humus -- that will give life to our new seedlings. For some, it might be time to put in a cover crop. For those ready to put in their next round of seeds or seedlings, here is a step-by-step "Guide to Hand Bed Preparation" created by the food folks at the Esalen Farm and Garden, who have some of the healthiest beds (and, hence, crops) you'll ever see. I made a few edits for the home gardener but it's a great guide to get you started. Happy fall planting!

1. Clear all plant waste of previous crops and weeds from the bed using a short-handled fork, hard or soft rake, and a compost bin or trash can.

2. Check that there are suitable stakes (i.e., able to have a string easily tied to) at each corner of the bed. Stakes should be between 42-48 inches apart. If a stake is missing, drive a new stake into the ground to create the appropriate width; move existing stakes to create the appropriate width.

3. Connect parallel corner posts with string to mark the length of the bed along the pathways.

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