Valmonte Garden Having A Hearty, Healthy Spring
• Most people know the Valmonte school as a place that lives and breathes baseball, but the garden right behind the main baseball field is highly underrated. The farm and garden stretch to 1.5 acres and is managed by Nancy Lemargie. The garden and farm started out as a side of a hill, but now is teeming with vegetables, fruits, plants, chickens, and cats.
Chez Mélange and Bettolino kitchen purchase produce from the Valmonte farm and garden.
Kale is a popular item for the restaurants now, and in the summer, tomatoes and shishito peppers are very popular. The fresh fruits and vegetables along with eggs and plants are able to be purchased on the second Saturday of every month except in April.
Nancy was so kind enough to let me choose some vegetables to cook with. I grabbed some Tuscan kale, beets, rosemary, a lemon, eggs, and baby potatoes. I first made a salad with the kale and beets. I started off by washing kale and chopping the kale into bite sized strips. I then boiled the beets in salted water until soft. When boiling beets, you do not need to peel the skin off before because when they are cooked, the skin slides off. I decided to make a lemon vinaigrette with rosemary for the salad. I juiced half of the lemon, added some olive oil, finely chopped rosemary, salt, pepper, and a little agave syrup. I poured the dressing over the kale and bite sized beets for a simple salad to complement my frittata.
For my frittata, I sautéed some onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat. Once the onions and garlic were cooked down, I added in the baby potatoes which I cut into thin rounds. I then added in some chopped beet greens and some cherry tomatoes. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper and then poured the mixture into the bowl. I then whisked together four eggs with some salt, pepper, and a little water. I added the egg mixture into the pan and then quickly added the vegetable mixture back in. I gently mixed the eggs and vegetables so they were combined. I let the frittata cook until the edges were cooked and then put the frittata into the oven to broil, so the frittata was cooked all the way through.
I cannot rave enough about how amazing and simple this meal was. The frittata and salad were so simple which made the fresh vegetables more prominent. It is so obvious when you are cooking with fresh ingredients that the dish tastes better. I only seasoned the frittata with salt and pepper because I really wanted to highlight the taste of the vegetables. I ate at least half of the frittata because it was so delicious.
I don’t know if I can buy produce at supermarkets anymore. It looks like I will be a monthly visitor to the Valmonte farm and garden and I think you should be one too!