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Seasonal Summer Dishes

This post was originally posted on John's previous blog site on on June 18th, 2014.

The days are getting longer and writing time is getting shorter! We’ve been very busy at the restaurant with private parties, including bridal showers, graduations, and celebrations, all taking advantage of the outdoor patio and Sculpture Garden at the BMA. This summer I’ll continue updating my readers whenever I can on the goings on around town, may it be what’s popping up in Gertie’s Garden, what’s featured on Gertrude’s dinner specials, or whomever I bumped into at the Waverly Farmers Market. Here’s a peak into what the chefs at Gertrude’s have served lately…

Pea Tendril & Mint Pesto with Roasted Asparagus & Farfalle Pasta

Serves 4 to 6


3 to 4 cups pea tendrils

1 cup mint leaves

½ cup toasted pinenuts

4 cloves minced garlic

1 lemon, zested and juiced

½ cup grated parmesan (optional)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the pea tendrils, mint leaves, pinenuts, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and parmesan if using, into a blender or food processor. Process the mixture until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Asparagus

1 pound local asparagus, with tough bottom stalks trimmed off

Extra Virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat the spears of asparagus with olive oil and dust with salt and pepper. Lay the asparagus out on sheet trays, making sure they do not overlap. Roast for about 20 to 25 minutes, until tender, but still a little crisp.

Pasta Salad

1 pound farfalle pasta (regular or whole wheat), cooked al dente and cooled

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

½ cup minced chives or green onions

Roasted asparagus (see proceeding recipe), cut into 1 ½ -inch pieces

Pea Tendril & Mint Pesto (see proceeding recipe)

Salt & freshly ground pepper, if needed

Place pasta in a large mixing bowl and toss with the bell pepper, chives, and asparagus. Fold in pesto, a little at a time, until just nicely coasted. Season the pasta salad with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

And for dessert, a Pastry Chef Doug Wetzel’s signature dish….

Strawberry Shortcake

Serves about 10 to 12

4 to 5 pints strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced

About ½ cup sugar, or to taste

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

½ cup sour cream

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Biscuits (recipe follows)

Macerate berries in sugar about 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Mix whipping cream, sour cream and powdered sugar together in mixing bowl. Whip until soft peaks begin to form. Add the vanilla.

Split open the biscuits with the prongs of a fork. Place the bottom on a plate and spoon strawberries on top – and then a dollop of the cream. Place the top of the biscuit on top of the cream. Place another dollop of cream on the plate with a strawberry to garnish. Place a mint leaf in the cream. Dust with powdered sugar.

Cream Biscuits

Makes about 10 to 12 biscuits

3 cups white flour

1 ½ tablespoons baking powder

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

¼ pound butter, cut into small pieces

1 ¾ cups heavy cream, plus additional for brushing

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Incorporate the butter until the consistency of a coarse meal. Stir in the whipping cream. Turn dough out onto a floured board. Knead gently 3 or 4 times. Pat out the dough into a circle ½-inch thick, and cut with a 3-inch cutter. Place on baking sheets with pan liners and brush lightly with whipping cream. Lightly sprinkle the biscuits with sugar. Bake at 425 F. for about 15 minutes – or nicely browned.

- John

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