I love to share seasonal recipes from my kitchen and garden! I also enjoy sharing places in Western North Carolina and Asheville where people can get food grown where we live. Asheville is known as a farm to table destination and in the coming weeks, I will be featuring some of my favorites in my upcoming series Vine Ripe Nutrition’s Farm to Table Picks to Savor! I hope you enjoy learning more about the special places here in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains that serve fresh, delicious local food.
When I think about Asheville’s vibrant local food scene, I wanted to start off with sharing the original farm to table destination the Biltmore Estate! Over 120 years ago, the Biltmore, America’s largest home created a sustainable, working farm and garden to feed family, friends, employees and guests. They continue this proud tradition with a over 2 acres of production gardens, a 30 by 80 foot green house and their commitment to local farmers in the community. Their program continues to grow with gardeners on the estate developing hydroponic production for lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chives and are working on more exciting things to come.
The Biltmore’s Field to Table Production Garden focuses on large plantings that supply a big, variety of food that goes to one of their six restaurants which include the Bistro, Cedric’s Tavern, Deerpark Restaurant, The Dining Room, Stable Café, Village Social and the Lioncrest, which is an event center with onsite catering. The Biltmore offers at least one seasonal menu item at each of their restaurants all year long that their chefs have created based on availability. You can find out more about these restaurants and other dining options at the Biltmore here,The estate grows year round and the crops available on the estate depend on the season. Some of these include blackberries, butternut squash, broccoli, tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, and sweet potatoes. In addition, their partnerships with local farmers and food artisans provide locally sourced trout, cheese, beef and pork. A small greenhouse grows microgreens and edible flowers.
To ensure the public’s food safety, the food production gardens and greenhouses are not open to the general public with the exception of special, guided tours for small groups of 25 or less. These arrangements can be made at 800-211-9805 or through submission of an online request that you can find out more about here.
Cedric’s Tavern Vegetable Farro
The delicious taste of winter vegetables grown on the Biltmore Estate paired with soft comfort of ancient farro from Chef Mark Demarco at Cedric’s Tavern.
½ cup kosher salt
1 cup snap peas
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup carrots, small dice
¼ cup celery, small dice
¼ cup yellow onion, small dice
½ cup white wine
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 red peppers, roasted and sliced julienne
4 cups cooked farro
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
½ cup cold unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Cook farro according to package directions. Cool by spreading in a thin layer on a sheet pan or casserole pan. Reserve.
Bring 1 gallon water to a rolling boil. Add ½ cup kosher salt. Prepare an ice water bath. Cook snap peas, broccoli, and cauliflower separately; each vegetable should take approximately 4 minutes to cook. Immediately transfer to ice bath to stop cooking process.
Preheat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook carrots, celery, and onions in the olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Add white wine and lemon juice and reduce by half. Next add cooked farro, snap peas, broccoli, red peppers, and cauliflower. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until heated through.
Finish dish with chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, cold butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately in warmed bowls.
To roast red peppers, place over open flame and char on all sides. Place in airtight container such as a paper bag, bowl with plastic wrap, or plastic container with lid. Peppers will sweat and skin will become loose and easily peeled off. Do not rinse under water.
Wine Pairing Suggestion: Cardinal’s Crest.
I hope that you enjoyed the first of the series of wonderful places to visit here in Western North Carolina to enjoy fresh, local food. As a registered dietitian nutritionist in the Asheville area, I am committed to teaching people how to choose healthy foods. Eating farm fresh foods can be a great way to eat well and tasty! In addition to my blog posts and recipes at the Vine Ripe Nutrition website, you can read more about ways that I help my clients here.