One of the best reasons to visit botanical gardens in the summer is the wonderful chef demos.

At the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Garden Chef Demos take place in the Edible Garden Outdoor Kitchen on Saturdays and Sundays, May through October, at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Here are a few recipes from the chefs. Enjoy!

walnut-caprese_0Walnut Pesto Caprese with French Bread

  • 8 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 4 oz arugula
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • Tomato slices
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • French bread, sliced & toasted
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon zest, to garnish

In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, arugula, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Blend on high until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the pesto on one side of French bread slices. Top with a tomato slice and a slice of mozzarella. Garnish with the lemon zest.

Recipe by Garden Chef Christina Curry

fennel-farro-salad_0Fennel & Farro Salad

  • 1 cup farro, uncooked
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and sliced on the bias
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded & sliced thin
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T white balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Bring 1 cup farro and 3 cups water to a boil and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain farro in a colander and transfer to large mixing bowl.

In large sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add sliced fennel and sliced bell pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add cooked fennel and peppers to farro and gently toss. In separate mixing bowl, whisk together extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Drizzle vinaigrette over farro and toss to serve.

Tip: Add crumbled goat cheese and fresh herbs from the garden for added pizazz!

Recipe by Garden Chef Megan M

Berry Short Cake with Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 2 T mint, chopped
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 6 slices of pound cake

In a bowl, combine the strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar, orange zest and lemon zest. Toss together gently and add the fresh mint and vanilla. In a separate bowl, add the heavy cream and remaining sugar. Using a whisk, whip until the cream becomes light. Gently fold in the Greek yogurt. To serve, place the cake on a plate or in a bowl, add the berries and top with the whipped cream.

Recipe by Garden Chef Christina Curry