Garden Connections

Garden Garden Connections explores ideas and practices with regional gardening experts who will share their "tips of the trade." There's something for the green thumb in all of us!

Thursdays at 7:00pm
Encore Presentations: Saturdays at 4:30pm and Wednesdays at 1pm

Read more: Garden Connections

Arugula Salad with Crab, Walnuts, Apples and Walnut Oil Dressing

Makes 4 servings


For the dressing:

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup walnut oil


Directions:  Combine the vinegar and seasonings in a mixing bowl and whisk well to blend.  Slowly whisk in the oil in a thin but steady stream.  Set aside until needed.


To finish the dish:  

8 cups cleaned arugula greens (about 10 ounces) or other sturdy salad greens

1 medium crisp/sweet apple, cored and quartered, cut into thin slices (Gala, Haralson, Cortland, etc.)

1 cup oven toasted walnuts

1 cup fresh lump crab meat


Directions:  Put the greens into a large mixing bowl and toss well with the dressing, crab, walnuts and apples then divide among plates.



Apple Tarte Tatin with Rosemary and Orange     --     Makes 4 servings


For the apples:  

3 medium crisp, sweet apples (such as Gala or Honeycrisp, about 5 oz. each)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons orange juice

3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary


Directions:  Set up four 10-ounce capacity (4 1/2 inches diameter by 1 3/4 inches deep) ramekins or ceramic bowls evenly spaced on a small baking sheet.  Peel the apples, cut in half lengthwise and core then cut into quarters.  To make the caramel sauce and cook the apples simultaneously, melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat then add the brown sugar, orange juice and rosemary.  Bring to a boil then add the apples and cook for 3 minutes.  Turn the apples over and cook for 3 minutes more.  By this time the caramel sauce in the pan will have reduced until thick.  Place 3 apple quarters, in each ramekin and divide the caramel evenly among them.


For the pastry and to finish the dish:

1 sheet purchased frozen puff pastry (half a 17.3 ounce package), thawed*

Reserved apple filled ramekins from above

Purchased high quality vanilla ice cream (or whipped cream) for an accompaniment if desired


Directions:  Preheat an oven to 425º F.  Lightly flour a pastry board then unfold the puff pastry sheet onto it.  Roll the pastry out slightly to an even thickness, using care to even out the places where it was folded.  Cut out 4 circles of puff pastry using a 4 1/2-inch round circle cutter (or another ramekin as a guide).  Make a 1-inch long slit in the center of each with a sharp knife then place one circle on top of each filled ramekin.  Put into the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.  Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 to 15 minutes then carefully (they’re still HOT!) invert each onto individual plates.  Serve with a scoop of ice cream if desired.


*Frozen puff pastry is best thawed by placing it in the refrigerator overnight.  Let it warm up at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling it out.