It is harvest time in Central Virginia, and some of the most flavorful produce of the entire growing season is hitting our plates. At Monticello’s Farm Table, our seasonally changing menu is always inspired by what our farmer partners are growing and can bring to the kitchen.
You’ll see lots of recipes featuring hearty winter greens on our menu this fall, including kale, mature arugula, turnip and mustard greens. Throughout the winter, we’ll receive butter lettuce greens and salad mixes from Schuyler Greens so we can continually provide healthy, crisp salads with cold-weather focus. Locally sourced winter herbs like sage and rosemary are readily available and will season much of what we prepare in the months ahead.
For Chef Shelby Poulin and her team, the most exciting flavors of autumn come from the wide variety of squash available. One of our all-time favorites is the classic Butternut. And thanks to the recently installed new grill in the kitchen, we’re able to prepare a selection of delicious recipes featuring this long-time friend. We encourage you to try the Grilled Butternut Squash Flatbread with Caromont Farm goat cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds and chorizo sausage – a made-to-order hot dish that can be shared or enjoyed as a hearty meal for one.
Here’s an interesting tidbit. Did you know that squash is actually a fruit, according to its botanical classification? For food preparation, it’s commonly referenced as a vegetable – hence the everyday assumption. Our local farmers provide several varieties of squash to the kitchen: Delicata, Acorn and Carnival are three selections that we’ll rotate for menu specials and a variety of squash soups.
As we’re all aware, it’s apple season! At Monticello’s Farm Table we’re excited to feature many varieties of freshly picked, local choices as a healthy snack in the café. We’ll also have hot apple cider during the chillier days and will use heirloom apples in our specials and desserts throughout the winter.
Finally (and not just for kids), it’s hot chocolate season – one of Jefferson’s very favorite beverages! House-made hot chocolate will be available throughout the colder months. We will also feature the scrumptious Chocolate Crème recipe of James Hemings that debuted at the Heritage Harvest Festival last month. This recipe is similar to what we know today as Chocolate Pots de Crème and is a delicious favorite at Monticello.
We hope you will come dine with us at the café and enjoy the excitement and inspiration we have put into the new fall and winter menu.