Garden Fresh Recipes

Join this family as they gather good food and lasting memories.
Holley Johnson

Fresh from the Garden Recipes

 There is a magic way to inspire a family to eat fresh produce: Involve them in the growing, harvesting, and cooking of the food. Karen and Patrice Gros, of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, who sell their produce at the local farmers market, do just that. They encourage their daughter, Manon, and their son, Marcello, to join them in the garden to work and play. This engages the children in physical activity while establishing healthy eating habits. They develop an appreciation for wholesome, homegrown foods. Best of all, the family has increased quality time together as Manon and Marcello learn about raising and preparing the bounty of summer vegetables. Try some of Karen's delicious recipes to bring the pleasure of summer produce to your table.

Good for You
Working in a garden offers a plethora of positive health implications. It has been known to help lower blood pressure, reduce muscle tension, and stimulate the brain. Because a sense of ownership is attached to watching something grow and develop, it can also boost self-confidence. Additionally, there is an increased awareness of and appreciation for nature.

Make Your Own Vinaigrette
A simple vinaigrette requires very few ingredients and features fresh, seasonal herbs. The secret is to balance the acidic ingredient, emulsifier, and oil. In Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette, lemon juice is used as the acid and mustard as the emulsifier. By slowly whisking in the olive oil, the flavors disperse throughout the vinaigrette. Create your own flavor profile by using the proportion 1 part acid to 2 parts oil. Try balsamic vinegar or apple cider for the acid; flavored mustard for the emulsifier; any fresh herb such as parsley, basil, or rosemary; and canola or olive oil. You'll find these are a cinch to make and will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to one week.

"Fresh From the Garden" is from the July 2007 issue of Southern Living.