Garden Day is all about stopping to smell the roses, getting together with neighbours, family and friends, and celebrating our gardens in all their wonderful forms.
Sharing a meal is a great way to enhance these celebrations 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.
Chef Bertus Basson is known for creating incredible, fresh and proudly local recipes that are deeply rooted in traditional food culture, but embellished with a modern touch. He’s a multi-talented entrepreneur, one minute mentoring on TV screens, whilst also running his highly successful restaurants, Overture, Spek & Bone, De Vrije Burger and Eike.
Jessica Shepherd and her husband Luke Grant are two chefs whose commitment to sustainability and down-to-earth simplicity continues to make an impact on the local culinary scene. They created the glorious respite that was formerly The Table at De Meye, an exquisite, award-winning outdoor eatery in Stellenbosch where they put their farm-to-table food philosophy into action.
Chef Karen Dudley’s inspiration comes from a diverse number of places: her Cape Town upbringing, her food education in the USA and England, and her homely hub, The Kitchen in Woodstock, a warm, intimate eatery that perfectly reflects her gregarious nature. She’s a published author, has entertained Michelle Obama and continues to win over fans with her honest, unfussy approach to cooking.
All four of these exceptional talents have contributed to Garden Day this year by preparing recipes that capture the celebratory spirit and communal nature of the event. You can find all of them here, but as a little taster, here’s what to expect.
Bertus has come to the party with a delectable Garden Succotash, putting a truly fresh twist on it by including samp, cauliflower, spinach, pumpkin and broccoli, ingredients you might just be able to pick fresh from your own garden.
Luke and Jess have prepared a scrumptious Vegetable Tart, a wholesome delight brought to life with asparagus spears, courgettes and baby spinach, and enriched by a cheesy sauce. They’ve also contributed a Nasturtium Pesto, easy to make and delicious to enjoy on the day.
Karen shares three recipes, each one an ode to nature and the wonders one finds in one’s garden. Her Winter Salad, packed with fennel, watercress, beetroot and turnips is an opportunity to showcase your best vegetables. She’s also created a nourishing Roasted Cauliflower Larb, completed by lemongrass, green chillies, spring onions and sticky rice, and a Poppy Seed Coin Salad that uses carrots, radishes and courgettes to make a meal that’s as fresh as it is phenomenal.
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. Candide is free for download in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Pair your dish with a good glass of wine or decorate them with a flower crown. However you do it: celebrate, share and enjoy!
Download the recipes here.
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