Chef Gardener Kathryn Agresto, owner of Native Soil Gardens, tends and oversees the 1,000 square foot garden next to Studio at Montage Laguna.
Studio’s talented executive chef, Craig Strong, is inspired by the garden, creating dishes that are rich tasting, yet light and healthful.
Here’s a shot of Studio’s raised beds. Fruit trees are espaliered against the wall on the right.
Below at my house: I know the joy of edible landscaping. Kathryn Agresto makes my garden into a cook’s paradise.
Chard, tarragon, African blue basil, chives, chilies, sage, strawberries and lettuces – just to name a few. And my yard it tiny!
A pot of peppery greens: In early spring Agresto planted a container of greens with a pepper edge: mizuna, mustard greens, and the feathery bad boy pictured below, Red Frills Mizuna.
I make a salad with mild red leaf lettuce, then pick a few of these frisky elements to add palate excitement. Love it.
Meanwhile, at Studio, Chef Strong is offering a Vegetarian Tasting Menu. It’s so tempting, you even carnivores adore these scrumptious dishes. Read my story at http://www.orangecoast.com/cathy-thomas-friends/studios-vegetarian-tasting-menu-six-courses-reinvented-classics/
Deconstructed Pistachio Pavlova: This luscious dessert (the finales of the Vegetarian Tasting Menu) looks a little like artistic Tinker Toys.
French meringues, both disks and cylinders, are dried in a dehydrator until noisily crunchy. They team with pistachio ice cream, whipped pistachio ganache and candied pistachios rolled in chocolate. Also on the plate, some pistachio paste, lemon marmalade and crème Chantilly.
And a perfect white and purple pansy reclines on one side.