A Southern Grace: happy harvest

August 31, 2016

happy harvest


I know I've mentioned it before, but I LOVE getting packages. I especially love when those packages contain food.

The latest box of tasty goodies that was left on my porch contained a plethora of produce from the vegetable garden at Monticello!

Monticello’s 10th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival is coming soon, running from September 9-11. This is a fun, family-friendly event promoting gardening, sustainability, local food, and heritage plants held on the breathtaking West Lawn of Monticello and in the Vegetable Garden, where Thomas Jefferson experimented with growing over 300 varieties of vegetables and herbs. The festival honors the epicurean legacy of not only Jefferson, but also of the enslaved men and women responsible for the kitchen, gardens, and grounds of Monticello.

Patrick O’Connell, chef and proprietor of The Inn at Little Washington, is this year’s keynote speaker. There will be more than 100 tastings, hands-on workshops, and special tours held at Monticello throughout the weekend. This year’s festival celebrates chefs and foodways by exploring the diverse food cultures of the ever-changing American South.

In an effort to draw attention to this awesome event, I was asked to create a recipe using some of the items grown in this amazing vegetable garden. I saw the list of potential ingredients to be sent my way, and I'll be honest--I had to google some! Marconi, Bermuda, green goat horn, and fish are all varieties of peppers I have unsurprisingly never seen at the good ol' Harris Teeter. Lemon balm, winter savory, southernwood, horehound, and salad burnet are herbs I wouldn't recognize by sight or taste!

So, what was in my box, you ask? Fish peppers, Adirondack Blue potatoes, purple carrots, winter savory, sweet marjoram, lemon balm, sugar beets, and cardoons(!), for starters. I used a lot of the goodies in this dish and the resulting meal was as tasty as it was colorful!

I have a discount code--VEG16--that will give you $10 off tickets to the Friday Festival Opening with Patrick O’Connell at the Paramount Theater. Check out the Monticello site for lots of historical food and garden information, and head to the festival site to find all up-to-date info on this year's party! If you're anywhere near Monticello during the weekend of September 9-11, take advantage of that discount and head on over to some or all of the events!

Roasted Root Vegetable Extravaganza (with Chicken)
(printable recipe)
Serves 3-4
  • 1 pound purple potatoes
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled
  • 1 sugar beet, peeled
  • 5-6 fish peppers, capped, cored, and seeded
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh winter savory
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sweet marjoram
  • 1 pound chicken breast, sliced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, with an oven rack placed in the bottom position. Line a baking sheet (or two!) with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Cut all of the veggies into 1-inch chunks and place them into a large bowl.
Drizzle the olive oil and maple syrup over the vegetables, season with salt, pepper, winter savory, and marjoram, and stir to combine.
Spread the vegetables out evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
Roast for 30 minutes, then add the chicken and gently stir everything together; turn the baking sheet.
Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork and golden brown in some spots, an additional 10–15 minutes.

My sweet helper.
Cuteness overload.


Marjie said...

Aw, your poor little pup looks hungry! You know he's clamoring for roasted roots! Those look seriously beautiful. I love to roast a mix of root veggies, and yours are really pretty. The addition of the chicken is great.

Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

That is one fabulous box, and you did it proud! And by the way...cutest helper EVER! :)

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I also love getting packages that contain food! CSAs and all the neat and different vegetables you get are so fun. It looks like you've made a tasty dish with them!

Angie Schneider said...

Those purple potatoes are so gorgeous!

Pam said...

I just can't get over how much our dogs look alike... SERIOUSLY! Adorable.

Roasted veggies are the best and so are packages of food delivered to you!

Juliana said...

This is such a nice dish Grace, I love all the colors in it...and yes, great idea adding chicken. I like that you used a little of maple syrup for a touch of sweet.
Hope you are having a great week :)

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Looks delicious Grace, this is my kind of food. Your little helper is adorable!

Adina said...

I love this kind of vegetable tray bake, I make something similar myself quite often. You put me in the mood for it again, I already have some beets in the house and was thinking what to do with them. Now I know. :)

Marcelle @ A Little Fish in the Kitchen said...

Those roasted veggies looks delicious, Grace. How cool that they came from Monticello! There were some things in your box I've never even heard of either. Makes it that much more exciting, doesn't it? I wish I was close enough to attend that festival, sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe we can make it next year!

Beth said...

Sounds like a great deal - and roasted vegetables are always the best!

yung@foodyoo.com said...

I love this. It is simple and healthy. And it is a good way to taste the original flavors of the veggies. I am thinking maybe steam the veggies and do something like salad with the same ingredients in this recipe also taste good too. :)

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

What a cute helper you have!
I LOVE purple potatoes, they are a new favorite. But, fish peppers? Never heard of them. Off to do some research on them now.

Emily @ The Southern Belle Blogs said...

I'm FINALLY getting to go this year to the Heritage Harvest Festival. I'm so excited - I've never even had the opportunity to visit Monticello!

I have a lot of those items growing in my garden right now. Fish peppers are actually one of my favorite peppers for something different. I've heard that they received their name from being used in the Chesapeake Bay area as seasoning for seafood dishes.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I love roasted vegetables. What a fun package to get! Hopefully your dog managed to score a dropped item or two--all that devotion!