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What's the best fall garden activity?
Banyan Tree's Roasted Beet, Feta Cheese and Quinoa Salad Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Urig, Chef de Cuisine   
The Banyan Tree is the signature restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Here is Chef Urig’s recipe for a roasted-beet, feta cheese and quinoa salad.

Yields eight servings

Beet Salad
6 oz. baby red beets
6 oz. baby golden beets
3 oz. feta cheese
6 oz. extra virgin olive oil
.15 oz. chives
.15 oz. tomato concasse

1.  Remove tops from beets, wash well.
2. Toss in extra virgin olive oil an wrap tightly in foil
3. Roast in oven at 375 degrees until tender, then cool
4. Peel skin and quarter
5. Toss together with extra virgin olive oil, the other ingredients and Minus 8 aged balsamic vinegar
6. Plate separate piles of beets and the quinoa pilaf (recipe below)
7. Finish with feta cheese

Quinoa Pilaf
12 oz. organic red quinoa
1.5 oz. extra virgin olive oil
36 oz. water
0.5 oz. lemon
3 oz. red onion
3 oz. cilantro
3 oz. parsley

1. Blanch and shock quinoa in salted water
2. Toss quinoa together with the rest of the ingredients
Tomato, Onion, Garlic, Basil, Caper and Mozzarella Salad Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

The title of this recipe says it all. It's an easy chopped salad using a lot of great summer garden produce, with the capers adding a little salty kick to the mix. It's a salad you really can't go wrong with (you can almost never go wrong mixing mozzarella cheese with tomatoes, basil and garlic, period) -- so feel free to eyeball how much of each ingredient you want.

In case you need reminding, here are the ingredients:

Mozzarella (a big ball of the soft mozzarella works best)
Onions (red or white)
Balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil

The capers that I used when I made this salad were sent from a friend in Italy and heavily salted so I first rinsed them thoroughly -- letting them soak and changing the water a few times. This step can probably be skipped depending on how you feel about the brine your capers are in.

I then chopped the onion, garlic, basil and mozzarella cheese and put them all in a bowl to marinate in balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil.

Then I chopped the tomatoes and strained and patted them with a paper towel to get rid of the excess water. I put the tomatoes into a separate container and into the refrigerator, then added the capers to the marinating onion, garlic, basil and mozzarella and put them into the refrigerator as well.

When it was time to serve I added the tomatoes to the marinating mix for what was now a chopped tomato, onion, garlic, basil, caper, mozzarella salad.  Voila! or -- since this is really an Italian salad -- Ecco!

Beyond the Juicer: Quick and Easy Carrot Greens Salad Print E-mail
Written by Michael Costa   

Carrot Green and Fennel SaladCarrot greens are pretty tough customers, and that reputation is well earned—you’ll be giving your jaw a workout if you try to chew them straight off the carrot. They’re often tossed into a juicer as a “why not” ingredient for something like carrot/apple juice, and they’re definitely overlooked as a primary component in salads.

With some preparation though, they make an excellent addition to a summer salad, especially after you’ve used all your carrots in other dishes. I add carrot greens to raw fennel, diced onion, chopped basil, halved grape tomatoes, and diced feta cheese, tossed with a citrus-infused olive oil, and an herb-infused balsamic.

The anise flavor of the fennel combines nicely with the mild, grassy sweetness of the carrot greens. The onions add an aromatic bite, the feta adds a salty, creamy component, and the grape tomatoes add a bit of acid. It’s a tasty balance of flavors.

Just like radish greens, you want to soak and spin the carrot greens before chopping to remove all the dirt present. Also, chopping the carrot greens takes a bit of effort. You want them to resemble finely chopped dill when you’re done. I chop the fennel stalks and the carrot greens at the same time so they have a similar consistency.

Print E-mail
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
½ 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!
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:

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