Forget mass-produced convenience food. Being “local and organic” is a way of life at Table Nectar. “The farm-to-table movement is about knowing where our food comes from and enjoying produce, meats and locally made products that haven’t travelled halfway around the world, but were instead grown or produced in our backyards and communities,” says Kimberly Medici, chef and owner at Table Nectar.
Medici calls farm-to-table “conscious eating” and explains it’s local, pesticide-free and can help making and preparing food fun, since there are so many colors and flavors to choose from. “It’s quality over quantity and healthier choices combined,” she says.
In the spring, Table Nectar’s farm-to-table menus include balsamic beet crostini with oven-roasted South Fork Farm’s baby beets and arugula, Jollity Farm’s fresh goat’s chevré, Mad Dog Mesa’s extra virgin olive oil and balsamic reduction; Flying Mule Farms’ slow braised lamb shank served with Riverdog Farm’s roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled spring asparagus, and creamy truffled polenta from Grass Valley Grains; and for dessert, orange cardamom creme brulée, made with Local Yolk’s pastured eggs, Clover Stornetta cream, and Hooverville Orchards’ fresh citrus.
Sourcing ingredients takes time and great communication but Medici has a direct relationship with local farmers, which means she can arrange for a “limited number of custom-grown fruits and veggies.” Medici says that while farm-to-table can cost at least 30-40 percent more than traditional dining, the cost is worth it, explaining, “When you pay a little more for higher-quality ingredients that taste better and are more appealing, you tend to waste less and therefore ultimately spend less.”
Costs might get better as farm-to-table gets even more popular. “The good news is that the more we support our local food systems and organic farming, the greater the demand will be, and the more affordable it will get,” says Medici.
Seasonal Kale Slaw
Submitted by Chef Kimberly Medici, Table Nectar Local & Organic Catering and Manzanita Kitchen & Events
- 2 bunches Dinosaur kale (de-stemmed and cut into thin strips or roughly chopped)
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. hemp seed oil
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp. Grade B pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups red and green cabbage (cut into thin strips or shredded by hand or with food processor)
- 1 medium sized tart/sweet apple such as Granny Smith, Fuji, or Pink Lady (shredded or thinly sliced)
- 2 medium sized carrots (peeled and shredded by hand or with food processor)
- 1 medium sized red beet (peeled and shredded by hand or with food processor)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnut pieces or slivered almonds
Wash all fresh ingredients thoroughly.
Remove stems from the kale, as they tend to be slightly tough and woody when served raw.
Bunch up or stack the de-stemmed greens and thinly slice them to about 1/4-inch thickness. Place them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add ingredients (olive oil through cider vinegar) directly to the kale; wash hands, and then thoroughly massage the dressed greens mixture with your hands.
Massage the greens with the same intensity you might tenderize meat with a mallet. By doing this, the acids in the dressing act to gently tenderize and “cook” the kale without loosing any flavor or nutrients. This is the fun part, so don’t be afraid to really get in there!
Prep all of the remaining ingredients. Using a food processor with a shredding attachment works most quickly; otherwise, shred the carrots and beets by hand. The apples can be sliced, diced or shredded, whichever you prefer.
Add the cabbage, carrots, beets and apples to the kale mixture and gently toss—mixing all ingredients throughout.
If you prefer your nuts and seeds toasted, put them in the oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees; let them cool before folding into the salad.
Table Nectar Local & Organic Catering
Manzanita Kitchen & Events
4232 Fowler Lane, Suite 101, Diamond Springs
530-344-7613 | tablenectar.com