The subtle signs of season change are becoming more predominant with each passing day. What were squirt guns and pool toys on store shelves are now pens, folders, and composition books. What were excited stories about vacations near and far are now photo albums of smiling faces and coffee cup souvenirs. Then of course, following up from our last spotlight in The Summer Local, what were small sprouts are now fully matured fruit-bearing plants that are the pride of all home gardeners like me.
The weeks of peas, beans, and squash have come and gone, so for our special this time around, I will be featuring a 12oz strip steak complimented by herbed heirloom carrots and purple majesty potatoes, with a fresh salad. In the picture to the right you are looking at vegetables that came out of my home garden. As there are not enough to make this a featured item on John Harvard’s menu, this edition will only be my pleasure in sharing with you the recipe and know-how of home gardening. In addition to our regular menu item, “steak frites”, our 12oz strip steak is a common celebrity in our daily dinner specials.
Chef’s Note: Replace purple majesty potatoes with red or yellow potatoes and heirloom carrots with any common store bought carrot.
Let’s get this harvest started …
Head out to the garden and trim up as much Swiss chard, lettuce, onions, grape tomatoes and cucumbers as you desire for your salad. If you have your own herb garden, then join me in making our own vinaigrette. We’ll start off with two cloves of garlic (because no recipe ever calls for just one), finely chopped. Basil, sage and oregano are my favorite herbs to use, but you can choose your own combination. Blend 1 tsp of each herb, both cloves of garlic, and one cup of vinegar at low speed. Use white vinegar to accent the bright green color or apple cider vinegar if you like a fruiter flavored vinaigrette. Turn the blender up to medium speed as you add one cup of extra virgin olive oil at a trickle. You will see it start to emulsify after a few short minutes. Drizzle your desired amount over your lettuce and Swiss chard, then top with the rest of your favorite garden vegetables.
Gardener’s Note: Lettuce and Swiss chard are very easy to grow and will allow you to harvest from spring to fall, saving you from wasting greens in your fridge.
To prepare the entrée, first boil your cleaned heirloom carrots and purple majesty potatoes in separate pots for 7-10 minutes or until slightly soft. (You can test them with a fork.) While the potatoes are still warm, toss them in extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Doing so allows them to absorb the flavors. Roast them in the oven at 375° until golden brown. Now comes the fun part! Head outside and fire up the grill to get the steak going. Season your steak as preferred and place it on the grill. Allow your steak to rest for 5-10 minutes and finish with an herb butter from John Harvard’s (see our last feature from The Summer Local.)
Chef’s Note: 110° for medium rare, 120° for medium, and 130° for medium well done.
There may be some more tomatoes to pick and ears of corn on the stalk, but summer is quickly coming to an end. The pumpkins are showing more of their orange and Southern Tier Brewing Company’s “Harvest” is the newest refreshing brew on tap at John Harvard’s. I hope you can enjoy this recipe with your family as the nights get a little shorter and cooler.
Staying fresh for one more season, Chef Rory Mosher
BEER PAIRING: SOUTHERN TIER BREWING COMPANY'S "HARVEST"
Harvest is a celebration of the change of the season from summer to fall. A deeply comforting ale to usher in the sunset as the evenings get cooler. In salutation to that special moment in time when the year’s harvest is a gracious cornucopia before us, we take a combination of English hops, cracked barley, and hard work to brew a classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order. Let Harvest’s deep ruby color take you away to a bright autumn mountainside where a warm sweater, a good beer, and the gratitude for the seasons are all you need.