At Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery, Chef Tim grows his own herbs and vegetables in the kitchen’s garden (lucky guy!), and uses these fresh ingredients in dishes served in the Tasting Gallery. His passion for locally grown ingredients is the key to creating the bright and flavourful recipes that pair so well with the wine. We asked Chef Tim for some spring gardening tips (and—of course!—a few Jackson-Triggs inspired recipes to make you want to cook with fresh herbs and vegetables yourself).
1. Plant vegetables that turn over quickly, such as radish and fresh herbs. This will allow you 2-3 plantings per summer.
2. Pick root vegetables, like beets, when they are small. Large leaves can be bitter, so using them when they’re young means leaves will be tender and full of flavour.
3. Radish, baby greens, beets, and herbs are best planted in the springtime.
4. When planting, be sure to allow enough space between vegetables. This allows them to spread their roots and grow properly.
5. When cleaning garden-grown vegetables, be sure to wash the dirt toward the leaves. This ensures that small dirt particles don’t get lodged in the small creases in the vegetable’s skin.
6. Try not to refrigerate your fresh garden vegetables, as this mutes the flavour. Instead, pick herbs and veggies just before using.
Asparagus is actually a perennial and the tender spears are shoots. Look for bright green stalks with tightly closed, compact tips. Jackson-Triggs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc VQA is the perfect match with its citrus, grassy and gooseberry aromas and bold, refreshing taste.
Get the recipe: Grilled Asparagus with Goat Cheese Aioli.
To clean leeks, cut off the root, and then slice through the green ends of the leek, leaving the white part whole. Fan open the leek and place under cold running water to thoroughly rinse out any dirt or sand in between their layers.The white portion of the leeks have a sweeter milder flavour than onions. Pair this hearty soup with Jackson-Triggs Reserve Chardonnay VQA.
Get the recipe: Wild Leek and Potato Soup with Wilted Leek Greens.
Radishes are fast-growing, with the seed germinating in three or four days and the crop maturing in three to four weeks. Appreciated for their crisp texture and mild, tangy and sometimes peppery flavour, radishes are great in salads like this one that pairs nicely with Jackson-Triggs Reserve Riesling Gewurztraminer VQA.
Get the recipe: Root to Tip Radish Salad.
The beetroot is often enjoyed boiled, roasted, pickled or raw. Raw, they are crunchy and when cooked they turn soft and buttery. Not all beets are red/purple in colour – there are also golden and candy cane beets. Whatever the colour, they are all nutritious and sweet. This recipe also uses the green, leafy tops and pairs well with Jackson-Triggs Reserve Merlot VQA.
Get the recipe: Warm Beet Salad with Charred Mushroom Vinegar.