Garden Day is all about stopping to smell the roses and enjoying our gardens in all their wonderful forms. Sharing a meal is a great way to enhance the occasion and, whilst this could be a few simple sandwiches or a slice or two of cake, there are some wholesome, simple recipes that have been specially prepared for you to try out on this day. And these come from a group of exceptional chefs who have been associated with Garden Day from the very start, including Jessica Shepherd and her husband Luke Grant. Both are chefs committed to sustainability and down-to-earth simplicity.
Beetroot Tarte Tatin
Jessica and Luke (@goodtogather) put their inspirational farm-to-table philosophy to work with this heavenly beetroot tarte tatin. Jessica’s down-to-earth cooking style turns the traditional French pastry upside down with a savoury twist. The sweet, earthy tones of beetroot set in caramel and golden pastry will be the star of the show on Garden Day.
Put the finishing touches on this plat du jour with edible flowers or salad leaves cut fresh from your garden. Enjoy it as a sharing starter or main course with a goats’ cheese salad. It’s easy to make, and it looks incredible.
- 10 – 12 medium-sized beetroots
- 2 tbsps butter
- 2 tbsps brown sugar
- 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- thyme leaves
- sea salt
- 1 cup crème fraiche
Garnish options to make it your own
- salad leaves
- edible flowers
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Trim the beetroots and place them in a pot of cold water. Bring the water to the boil and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until a knife can easily pierce the beetroots. Drain and set aside to cool before peeling.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-based skillet. Add the brown sugar and stir until it dissolves and starts to caramelise. Add the red vinegar (take care as this will create steam), followed by the thyme leaves and garlic. Stir to combine and turn off the heat.
- Cut the beetroots in half lengthways and arrange them on top of the caramel mixture.
- Cut a round from ready-made puff pastry to cover the beetroots. Cut an X into the centre of the pastry to let the steam escape during baking.
- Place the skillet in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove the skillet from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before turning it out. Be careful, the skillet will be hot!
- Place a suitable platter upside down over the skillet. Hold the handle with one hand (using a dry dish towel) and place your other hand on the base of the platter. With one quick and careful move, turn the platter and skillet over.
- Top the tart with the crème fraiche and decorate with salad leaves and edible flowers.
- Serve immediately.
Of course, the fun comes with how you personalise your dishes with ingredients from your own garden. If you’re not sure which plants and flowers from your garden are edible you can join and ask the Candide app garden community. Candide features an extensive knowledge base of plants, plant identification, growing tips and even additional garden-inspired recipe ideas.
Sweet and sour Korean Pickles
When attorney Lizz Pather is not empowering women in business, she is tending to her weird and wonderful selection of plants. She plants every bit of soil she can get her hands on to grow unusual fruits and veggies like Romanesco, Buddha’s Hand, and heirloom tomatoes.
For this crunchy, moreish sweet and sour side, Lizz harvests plump white radishes straight from her garden. Add this North Asian favourite to your Garden Day menu for a refreshing tang of flavour that goes exceptionally well with spicy food. Or serve this dish solo as a palate cleanser between dishes.
Photo credit: Lizz Pather
- 2 medium to large white radishes
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup brown vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- sterilised glass jar with a lid
- Wash and trim your radishes.
- Cut each radish into round discs about 1cm thick and put the pieces in the jar.
- Add equal parts of water and brown vinegar until the radishes are covered.
- Add the sugar and salt and stir to combine until both are dissolved.
- Seal the jar and leave your radish mixture to pickle overnight.
- Serve chilled.
On Sunday 11 October, Garden Day will host its first Virtual Garden Day Gathering with a host of events, including more garden-inspired gourmet cooking via Zoom and Facebook Live. The final programme and details will be released on Gardenday.co.za at the start of October.
You can also visit Gardenday.co.za for a handy toolkit to help you plan the perfect virtual celebration, including downloadable invitations.
Catch news, updates, inspiration and more garden-style recipes right here and at @GardenDaySA on Candide, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Tag your posts with @GardenDaySA and #GardenDaySA to share your green celebration with friends, family, and fellow plant lovers online.