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Garden Poll

What's the first thing you're planting this spring?
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Written by Michael Costa   
Wherever your radishes come from—garden, farmers market, grocery store—consider it a two-for-one deal if the radish greens are attached. They’re an overlooked treasure, and far easier to eat than say, carrot tops. Radish greens have a mild sweetness combined with a subtle, peppery bite that makes a great flavor bridge between a citrus-infused olive oil and the radishes themselves.  

Approximately 8 to 10 radishes should provide enough attached greens to make a simple side salad for two people. Often, the greens are loaded with dirt, so they may take some extra time to clean. Submerging and rinsing them in a salad spinner is recommended.

If you don’t feel like sharing, top with grilled shrimp or a sliced, grilled chicken breast and make it a meal.

Yields approximately 2 servings

Greens from 8 to 10 radishes
3 to 4 radishes, halved, and sliced thin
˝ red onion, sliced into quarter rings
3 tsp citrus-infused olive oil (blood orange is ideal)
1 tsp herb-infused balsamic vinegar (oregano is ideal)
Pinch of salt to taste

1. Wash the greens thoroughly as described above, rinse the radishes and the onion
2. Tear the radish greens into bite-sized pieces, slice the onion and radishes, place in a large bowl.   
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar, add salt to taste. If you need more dressing, double the amount, but be careful not to drown the flavor of the greens.
4. Add the dressing to the greens, onions, and radishes, and toss until evenly distributed. Enjoy!
Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua's Grapefruit Caipiroska Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
R-C grapefruit cocktailThe Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, Maui, recently unveiled an herb garden that includes 18 different types of basil and 10 varieties of mint, along with a view of the Pacific Ocean and the island of Molokai. (I think we all know how well herbs grow when they have a good view.)

A larger garden, located on the property behind Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors for the Environment center, offers an extensive selection of fruits and vegetables. Both gardens are organic and the vision of Executive Sous Chef Marc McDowell, who will be offering insights and some recipes for us in a future post.

In the meantime, here's a summer cocktail that's a great use for all the mint we have growing in our gardens (whether or not they have a fabulous view) plus summer grapefruit and lime. Enjoy!

1oz cane sugar
Juice from ˝ lime
6-8 fresh mint leaves from our garden
Slice of grapefruit
Muddle all the above
Add ice
1 ˝ oz Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka
Top with soda water
Garnish with lime

Mar'sel Summer Garden Salad Print E-mail
Written by Chef Michael Fiorelli   
MarselAt the newly opened mar’sel (Spanish for sea and French for salt) restaurant, located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Palos Verdes and part of the new Terranea Resort, Chef Michael Fiorelli has placed an emphasis in using local ingredients. And that doesn’t just mean visits to the local farms and farmers markets but his own chef’s garden right outside the front door. The garden – and menu – will change seasonally, with planting for fall already under way.

Herbs, fruits and vegetables grown in the garden include purple basil, Russian tarragon, French tarragon, watermelon, cantaloupe, yellow squash, cucumber, rainbow tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, purple red beans, yellow onions, chives, sweet red onions, black beauty eggplant, purple eggplant, baby carrots, rainbow carrots, beets, curly parsley, nasturtium petals, culinary lavender, ghost white pumpkin, summer squash and sweet corn.

For gardeners with an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, hearts of palm and basil (or cooks with the opportunity to gather these items), Chef Fiorelli offers us the following recipe:

Cucumber and Sage Martini Print E-mail
Written by CuisinArt Resort & Spa   
cucumber and sage martiniA cool drink for these hot summer days, courtesy of the CuisinArt Resort & Spa in Anguilla. The resort gets the cucumbers and sage for this cocktail from its comprehensive hydroponic farm and organic gardens. For more information on the resort and the hydroponic farm (which can be toured), visit

CuisinArt's Signature Hydroponic Cucumber and Sage Martini

4 pistachios
1 packet of sugar
1-inch hydroponic cucumber (unpeeled)
6 sage leaves
1 oz. Grey Goose® Poire
˝ oz. Cointreau®
˝ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
˝ oz. cane syrup


Grind pistachios to a dust in a coffee grinder and mix with sugar on a plate. Wet martini glass edge with water and rim the glass with the pistachio/sugar dust.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber and sage leaves to a paste. Add ice and all other ingredients and shake vigorously.

Strain liquid into a martini glass. Garnish with a thinly sliced cucumber round and a sage leaf.

Seasonal Bean Salad Template Print E-mail
Written by Michael Costa   

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar: 3 to 1 ratio. Feel free to experiment with flavored oils and vinegars.
Beans, fresh or canned:
white beans, black beans, lentils… most work in this template. We have a bag of dried Vermont cranberry beans (from Wisconsin!) that we’re going to try here soon.
garlic scapes, scallions, red onion… they all work well. Experiment with the amount of each to your specific taste.
Fresh herbs:
rosemary, fresh oregano, fresh basil, fresh tarragon… same as above.
Grape tomatoes: halved. A key ingredient when in season.
Red, yellow, or green bell pepper: diced
1oz - 3oz. feta cheese: diced
One whole zucchini or cucumber:
Handfuls of fresh spinach, mustard greens, dandelion greens... same idea as aromatics: Experiment with the amounts and ratio of each to your taste. Best if chiffonaded.


Create the dressing in a separate bowl. Rinse and cut the other ingredients, place in a large salad bowl, add the dressing, toss… done! Store leftovers in a sealable container in the refrigerator.

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