Community Gardens

From basket to gourmet menu

August 31, 2013

We usually share a cuppa and a pack of jammy dodgers when we meet, so sitting together sharing food from a gourmet menu that mentions the Goresbridge community garden was a very special occasion for the gardeners and a new step along their journey.

Goresbridge Community Garden Fresh Produce Basket

A small delivery to The Step House for Chef to create our Lunch

I recently wrote about the new connection we’ve made with The Step House in Borris, County Carlow. If you missed it you can read it here but we’re at the start of quite an adventure.

Head Chef of The Step House Hotel & Restaurant, Borris, Co Carlow - Alan Foley

Head Chef of The Step House Hotel & Restaurant, Borris, Co Carlow – Alan Foley

We’re learning about supplying a local restaurant with fresh seasonal food, from harvesting and packaging skills and techniques to providing a steady flow of raw food (or not) – this is a new experience for us all. Like all good restaurants, Head Chef Alan Foley is creating linkages with local food producers from foragers to community gardeners, meat, game and vegetable suppliers and he’s enthusiastically embracing the fresh, quality ingredients available so close to his kitchen.

Step House Gardeners & Foragers Gourmet Menu


Our supply of herbs and vegetables isn’t consistent enough just yet to demand payment. It was therefore suggested that in exchange for our produce, Chef would create a menu for us once a month that would include our herbs and vegetables.

It gives the gardeners the opportunity to taste produce that’s been grown and cared for in the community garden and Chef to come up with different and seasonal recipes that might entice his customers.

We weren’t disappointed.

My first venture into rabbit will not be my last…

Fois Gras Cream, Harvey Jelly, Chive & Brioche

Fois Gras Cream, Harvey Jelly, Chive & Brioche

Even the non beetroot lovers of the party enjoyed the flavours in this dish.

gravalax of salmon with beetroot

Gravalax of salmon with beetroot

We delivered the butternut squash underripe but wouldn’t have known once it was in the hands of a master. It was roasted, seasoned, roasted again before being whisked with milk to keep it as low fat as possible.

Lightly spiced Goresbridge Pumpkin Soup

Lightly spiced Goresbridge Pumpkin Soup

The pork was cooked gently for twelve hours (can’t wait for our own now!!)

Confit of Tom Salter's Pork Belly

Confit of Tom Salter’s Pork Belly with Goresbridge Sage, Crab Apple Jus

and lastly the dessert, well need I say more…

Local Strawberry, Blueberry & Wild Blackberry Salad with Amaretto Cream

Local Strawberry, Blueberry & Wild Blackberry Salad with Amaretto Cream

We finished off with Chamomile Tea served in the beautiful tea pot which reflected my sunflower frock no matter how I tried to photograph it.

Time for Tea

Time for Tea

As you might imagine, we’re looking forward to developing our relationship with the Step House and will be having a planning meeting to discuss the crops we can grow for the restaurant at our next meet up.

Gardeners, Foragers & ChefIf you’re wondering what you can grow over winter in the garden, take a look at the free monthly downloadable printouts available on the monthly Jobs section of the Greenside Up website.


  • Reply Tanya @ Lovely Greenst August 31, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    It all looks delicous but the the fruit salad looks AMAZING 😀 What a wonderful scheme you’ve got yourself involved in!

    • Reply greensideupveg August 31, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      It was all amazing! It was a tasting menu so small portions which meant we dashed every morsel, yum!

  • Reply BeyondTheWildGarden August 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    All that look good enough to eat 😛 Didn’t know you could eat borage flowers

    • Reply greensideupveg August 31, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Borage flowers are traditionally used in Pimms David and are pretty frozen in ice cubes. The leaves taste of cucumber but shouldn’t be eaten as can cause liver problems. (And it was such a nice lunch, so much better than cheese sarnies 😉

  • Reply Mary Gethings (@Eco__Evolution) August 31, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Wow Dee that looks delicious. You must be all so proud of your achievements in Goresbridge. Well, if that menu wouldn’t entice you to grow your own I just don’t know what would.

    • Reply greensideupveg August 31, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      I’m so pleased for them all Mary and its given such a boost and direction to the garden that we hadn’t realised was lacking! It was a thrill to see our ingredients presented in such a delicious manner!

  • Reply Grow Your Own. Where we can go from here... October 2, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    […] reused, recycled, sown seeds, planted, weeded and harvested. We’ve visited gardens, eaten gourmet food grown in the garden, looked at ways of dealing with pests and shared stories and […]

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