Monday, May 30, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Garden Tomato & Feta Dip


We’ve planted a garden! Suzanne, our Guest Services Manager, is an avid gardener with a very green thumb. She grew tomatoes in her own garden last year, and decided that our romantic Los Angeles bed and breakfast hotel could use a dose of homegrown vegetables for our homemade fare. 

So far our herb garden, growing in two planters located on our courtyard patio, consists of spearmint, Italian oregano, Italian basil and parsley.  We use the herbs in our soufflés, as flavor for our homemade dips, and as garnishes for our wine and cheese spread and fresh fruit platters. We’ve also used the mint to make hot mint tea and have tossed a few sprigs in our lemonade. Ask us to make you a cup!

Herb-a-licious!


In our rose garden (behind the white picket fence in our parking lot), Suzanne has filled two Earthboxes with all organic dirt mix and fertilizer. One box contains a Black Cherry Heirloom Tomato plant and a Yellow Brandywine Heirloom Tomato plant. The second Earthbox has two zucchini plants and one cucumber “Burpless Diva” plant. Once we have some fresh veggies, you can expect to enjoy them at wine and cheese (in dips, as well as on the vegetable platter) and on our savory breakfast soufflés.

Suzanne chose Earthboxes for our tomato and zucchini plants because the design of the boxes makes them very water efficient. A cover is placed over the top soil to prevent excess evaporation and the water is held in a reservoir at the bottom of the planter so none of the water is wasted in run off. How very “green” of us!

Our homegrown zucchini plants soaking up the sun!


Besides the upkeep of our beautiful plants, our challenge is to keep the California Ground Squirrels from dining on the proceeds from our garden every night. You can see them roaming around in the Wetlands, and these little critters like to eat!

Below is a delicious recipe you can try at home:



Tomato Feta Dip
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
20 Grape Tomatoes - cut in half
Salt, pepper, & salt-free herb seasoning (to taste)
Fresh Oregano
½ c. Feta Cheese (approx.)

Heat a small frying pan and add olive oil. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and seasoning and cook until soft. Crush with a wooden spoon until it makes a chunky sauce. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add oregano and Feta cheese and combine gently. Serve warm.

Do you have a favorite recipe to share with us? Please email info@innatplayadelrey.com. We’ll give it a try! Bon Appétit!



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