From Garden to Table 

homemade croutons

Yields 2 prepared cups

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, fine minced
  • 3 cups medium-dice rustic French baguette
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt to your tastes

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook until aromatic, 20 to 30 seconds. 

Spread the butter over the surface of the pan with a spatula and add the diced bread to the pan. Stir to coat the bread in melted butter on all sides. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and season with salt to your tastes. 

Toast the bread until crisp and browned on all sides. Allow to cool fully before serving. Store in an airtight container for future use.

From Garden to Table #1


Balsamic vinegar is acidic and slightly sweet, made with or from grape must (the sweet juice of freshly pressed grapes). It is used in dressings, marinades, and can be reduced to a glaze, accentuating its sweetness. Drizzle it over fruits, use it to add a little caramelization to the outside of roasted vegetables, or add it to a finished savory dish to create balance with a touch of sweet acidity. Although oil and vinegar typically do not mix, in production of balsamic dressings, emulsifiers such as garlic, egg yolks, or mustard, can be used to combine the oil with the vinegar to create a homogenized and boldly acidic, mildly sweet, and flavorful dressing for salads. Alternatively, a salad can served with a simple drizzle of olive oil and balsamic.

peach caprese salad with shrimp

Serves 4

Shrimp Marinade

  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon basil, fine chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • 2 peaches, cut into wedges
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced and halved
  • 8 ounce ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced and halved
  • 8 to 10 whole basil leaves
  • Salt, coarse and fine black pepper to your tastes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white balsamic

Place the shrimp in a single layer on a small plate with elevated sides. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil, then pour the balsamic and lemon juice over the shrimp to “cook”. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then strain off and discard excess liquid.

From Garden to Table #2

Layer the serving platter with marinated shrimp, peach wedges, tomato slices, mozzarella slices, and basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly drizzle olive oil and white balsamic over the salad to finish.


mediterranean salad

Serves 4

  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 3 mini cucumbers chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, roasted and sliced 
  • ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • ¼ red onion, thin lyonnaise cut
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 ounce feta, crumbled
  • Salt to your tastes
  • 1 tablespoon parsley 

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives, and onions. Toss with olive oil and red wine vinegar to coat. Sprinkle the feta on top and season with salt to your tastes. Serve chilled.


From Garden to Table #3

Optionally, serve with chicken that is seasoned with sweet paprika, salt, pepper, and finished with a parsley garnish.

Deborah Farmer


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StarLight Realty