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Welcome to Gardens to Tables Recipes Soups and Salads Connecting Gardens to Tables at the Hermosa Inn
Connecting Gardens to Tables at the Hermosa Inn Print E-mail
Written by Executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco   

Garden to table is more than a trend; it's something that we do on a daily basis here at LON's at the Hermosa. While we do purchase from local farmers (and, for many restaurants, that's all they need to say they are "farm to table"), we also have a one-acre on-site garden behind the kitchen and durum wheat from my own family's farm here in Arizona is used to make our house-made gnocchi and other pastas. So, while it may be a passing phase for others, it's something we take great pride in here at LON's.

We grow more than 20 ingredients in the garden -- from lettuce, arugula, English lavender and Bloomsdale spinach to onions, strawberries, heirloom tomatoes and various types of squash. Lemon, orange and grapefruit trees are also scattered throughout the grounds and used in many of the dishes at LON's, along with our signature cocktails at Last Drop at the Hermosa.

While it's a labor of love and takes hard work, it's also great training ground for my culinary team and instills a deeper connection and a sense of pride in the food we serve when we have to personally plant, water, weed and harvest. It's how I was raised and something I like to share with others. It's what brought me to this business and continues to drive me and our team, and is what inspires our recipes.

One such recipe is our Local Gem Lettuce Wedge with goat cheese vinaigrette -- all made from locally sourced ingredients. (Click "read more" for recipe.)

LON's Local Gem Lettuce Wedge

Ingredients (in order)
2 each Little Gem Lettuce heads
4 T. goat cheese vinaigrette*
4 each shaved beets - medium - peeled
12 slices baby fennel
12 slices shaved radish
12 slices shaved baby carrots
2 T. Queen Creek Meyer Lemon extra virgin olive oil
2 t. sea salt
2 t. cracked black pepper

1. Little Gem Lettuce is a small, heirloom, tightly bunched baby romaine head lettuce. Cut the lettuce in half and discard any bruised outer leaves.
2. Wash the lettuce in ice water and shake dry as well as possible.
3. Shave baby vegetables on a mandoline as thin as possible while still being able to keep them whole -- store in ice water until ready to plate.

Goat Cheese Vinaigrette

Ingredients (in order)
1 cup Crow's Dairy Quark goat cheese or (if Quark is not available) 1/2 cup chevre and 1/2 cup organic yogurt or goat yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 each Meyer lemon zest and juice
1/2 T. chives, chopped
1/2 T. parsley, chopped
1/2 T. thyme, chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste

1. Quark is a smooth, creamy goat cheese. It's very similar to yogurt and available from Crow's Dairy in Buckeye, Arizona. If quark is not available, blend the chevre and yogurt together until smooth.
2. Add buttermilk, lemon and herbs and taste.
3. Season to preference with salt and pepper.

To plate:
1. Spread 1 T. of goat cheese dressing on bottom of plate, set 2 halves of lettuce on top.
2. Top lettuce with equal parts of the shaved vegetables.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and cracked pepper over the top.

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