Although our series focuses on plating techniques, this week, we’ll share ways to use farm-fresh herbs on the plate as well as in the glass. We’ve been inspired by The Chef’s Garden’s best of the day herb sampler that allows chefs to experiment with flavors ranging from floral to minty and from woodsy to citrusy with a rainbow of textures: from soft to chewy to crunchy.
In a Glass: Farm Chartreuse
This concoction packs a real aromatic punch with the spirit base being a high infusion of celery, fennel, spinach—and, of course, a multitude of herbs. Repeatedly strained, you can sweeten the spirit with honey and season it with salt and citrus. As a finishing touch, garnish the glass with an oversized bouquet of flowering herbs and a short straw that allows guests to breathe in the scent of the garden.
Fine Dining: Steamed Sweet Potato with Dashi
The delicious dashi is made with dried mirepoix and steeped with flavorful complementary herbs: sorrel, basil, hyssop, and mint. Then, making the sweet potato couldn’t be easier. Steam, peel, and then glaze with schmaltz before topping with flowering herbs.
Banquets: Pork Chop on Polenta
Flowering herbs are a great compliment to rich foods. The pork chop on polenta here is lightened up with an assortment of flowering mint, basil and hyssop. Its presence is found in the sauce, the polenta, and the crispy leaves on top.
More About Farm Fresh Herbs
At the CVI, we’re blessed to have access to a beautiful range of fresh herbs, some of them grown in the gardens bordering our building. This means we can literally walk out our front door and take a stroll to see Mother Nature’s bounty. For chef’s who aren’t able to do that (let us know when you want to visit!), The Chef’s Garden offers a fresh herb sampler that includes the absolute best of the day’s harvest.
Thank you for reading our most recent installment of our “Plating Techniques” series. We have plenty more planned for you!