Special of the day: Have Table, Will Travel Farm-to-Table Dinner at Groundworks Farm

07 Sep Special of the day: Have Table, Will Travel Farm-to-Table Dinner at Groundworks Farm

Farm-to-Table Dinner

Once in a blue moon you get to dine on the farm where your food is grown with the farmer and his wife. Our lucky day came recently when Eric and Audra Bergman hosted a Have Table, Will Travel Dinner at their Groundworks Farm.

While picking up my Groundworks produce at the Farmers Market earlier this summer, I noticed a bumper sticker reading: “Know your farmer” which made me think, What better way to get to know your farmer than to offer to cook dinner on his farm?

Wonderful to work with, Eric and Audra let me in on everything fresh from the farm that week: cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, leeks, cream, butter and a chicken. Picking up provisions the day before enabled me to plan simple, self-contained courses that traveled well and were served chilled, at room temperature or warmed briefly in the oven.
Our picture perfect setting for a farm to table dinner consisted of a white canopy positioned between the hothouse of tomato plants dripping with fruit and the copious corn fields, affording us views of perfectly straight rows of vegetables and a beautiful blue moon backdrop.

With thanks to Audra and Eric Bergman comes this week’s Special of the day: Have Table, Will Travel, Farm to Table Dinner at Groundworks Farm and recipes for Garden Gazpacho, Leek Tart on Mixed Greens, Pesto Chicken in Phyllo and Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Tart with Fresh Raspberries. 

Audra and Eric Bergman


(406) 590-0508

Garden Gazpacho

(serves eight)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ tsp. salt

2 large cucumbers, peeled and chopped

2 banana peppers, seeded and chopped

½ tsp. cayenne

Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium high heat until softened.

Combine all ingredients (including sautéed garlic) in blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a strainer. Cover and refrigerate.

Lime crema

8 ounces sour cream

2 tbsp. lime juice

¼ tsp. salt

Stir together lime crema ingredients. Refrigerate.

To serve:

Pour chilled Garden Gazpacho in stemmed glasses.

Garnish with lime crema and additional chopped tomatoes, cucumber and fresh cilantro.


Leek Tart on Mixed Greens

Leek Tart on Mixed Greens

(serves eight)

3 tbsp. butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups thinly sliced leeks

¼ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

¼ cup white wine

1 pound brie, cut into thin slices

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

2 tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Melt butter in sauté pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and leeks.  Sauté until leeks are softened and golden brown. Add salt, pepper and wine and cook briefly to reduce.

Roll out thawed puff pastry sheet to 10 inch by 12 inch rectangle.

Lay puff pastry over 8 inch by 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom and press into pan and up sides to form crust.

Arrange brie slices over the crust to cover.

Top with leeks.

Brush crust with melted butter.

Bake in preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve warm over lightly dressed mixed greens.


Pesto Chicken in Phyllo

Pesto Chicken in Phyllo

(serves eight)

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup olive oil

¾ cup walnuts

¼ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Meat from 1 roasted chicken

¼ cup melted butter

1 package phyllo dough, thawed

Make the pesto:

Combine basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, walnuts, salt and pepper in blender.  Blend until pureed.

Assemble Pesto Chicken in Phyllo:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Unroll phyllo dough.

Lift four sheets at a time and set in center of work surface. Brush with melted butter. Arrange about ¾ cup chicken in center of phyllo and top with 3 tbsp. pesto. Fold ends of phyllo inward and roll phyllo to make a packet. Brush seam with melted butter and place seam-side down on baking sheet. Repeat to assemble seven additional chicken packets.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve warm.


Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Tart with Fresh Raspberries

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Tart with Fresh Raspberries

(serves eight)

½ cup butter, softened

¼ cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cold water

1 cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split

¼ cup sugar

3 egg yolks

¼  cup sugar

Dash of salt

3 tbps. cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

2 pints fresh raspberries

2 tbsp. seedless raspberry jam

Fresh mint sprigs

Make the crust:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and ¼ cup sugar. Add salt, flour, vanilla and cold water.  Mix just until combined. Press crust into 4 inch by 14 inch tart pan with removable bottom.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

Make the vanilla bean pastry cream:

In medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 cup heavy cream. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into the pan.  Add ¼ cup sugar. Stir to combine.

In mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar, salt and cornstarch.

Transfer half of egg yolk mixture to separate bowl and whisk in a small amount of the hot cream until mixed. Return yolk and cream mixture to hot cream and stir to incorporate. Add remaining egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly to combine. Continue cooking and stirring until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.

Fold whipped heavy cream into vanilla bean mixture.

Assemble tart:

Fill crust with vanilla bean pastry cream.

Arrange raspberries on top.

Melt jam in microwave for 15-30 seconds. Let cool.

Brush jam over raspberries.

Cover and refrigerate.

Slice tart and garnish with mint sprigs.


Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.


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