Monday, October 24, 2011

Garden-to-Table Recipes & Fashion

I have vivid memories of my parents' garden from my youth.  The garden spanned the whole width of their quite large backyard, and come harvest time, our little kitchen would overflow with corn, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, grapes, peas, cucumbers, apples and peppers. Oh - the way that a just-picked tomato, still warm from the sun, feels on the palm of your hand.  The smell - of green, of earth, of hard work, of summer.  I learned early that nothing tastes better than fruit and vegetables direct from the garden. 

And thanks to the Urb Garden Girls, I was able to share a garden-fresh meal with my Supper Club guests. Today I'm sharing a couple of recipes from Supper Club 600: Garden-to-Table Edition.  (By the way, did you catch my recap of of the event? If not, you can see it here.)

Avocado & Sprout Lettuce Cups

These lettuce cups are perhaps my favorite recipe I've created so far... and one of the simplest, too.  Something about the peppery-crunchy sprouts, the smooth and creamy avocado, and the tangy dressing makes it dynamite when combined. One serving gives you a healthy portion of good fats, and a lot of protein. 

 For the cups:
  • 1 cup of raw sprouted lentils, beans & legumes  (I buy mine from Jazzy Sprouts at the Hollywood Farmer's Market, but you should be able to find them at specialty grocery stores or farm markets.)
  • 1 ripened avocado, diced.
  • 8 cup-style lettuce leaves (Butter lettuce is good for this purpose.)

For the dressing:
  • 1 tb olive oil (Use the best quality you can find.)
  • 3 tb vinegar (you can use your favorite kind - but my favorite for this combination is Global Gardens' Pear Tamarind Champagne vinegar. We LOVE visiting Global Gardens, which we found on our olive oil tasting tour of Southern CA wine country. They make amazing oils and vinegars.)
  • 1 tb dijon mustard (Maille is best.)

In a nonreactive bowl, gently stir together the sprouts and avocado.  Whisk the dressing ingredients together and combine with the sprout mixture.  Divide evenly between the 8 lettuce cups.  Serves 4.

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

  • 2 large tomatoes, diced (preferably heirloom)
  • 1 cucumber, diced (preferably hothouse)
  • 3 tb red wine vinegar
  • 1 tb chopped dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toss 'em all together in a bowl.  Wha-la!  Serves 2 to 4, depending on whether you use the salad as a side or entree.

As for my outfit at Garden-to-Table, and in the spirit of the theme, I wanted to get in touch with my roots.  My mom's parents - and many of her ancestors - were farmers.  My dad's parents also owned a farm, though they were hobbyist farmers.  Mom and Dad's own garden, as I mentioned earlier, was the source of most of our summer food, and I remember Mom in her plaid shirt, weeding around the tomatoes, telling me how - even though I didn't enjoy working in the garden at age 8 - I would want my own garden someday.  Oh, Mom.  On this, like on so many other things... you were right.

I included an industrial/urban touch, though, because although I come from farming stock, I've always been a city girl at heart.

Plaid blouse by Target
Tank dress by Lane Bryant
Studded belt by Torrid
Industrial chain necklace and earrings via Nordstrom Rack
Tights by Avenue
Boots via OneStopPlus

All right!  Have a beautiful day - and take care of you!


  1. I was so excited to see this post today! I made the lettuce cups for dinner (with an orange muscat vinegar instead of pear champagne).