Recipes from our Garden

At Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center, our goal is to nurture our guests with delicious food, freshly prepared using the highest quality ingredients. And it is even better when those ingredients are grown feet away from the kitchen! Here we will share with you what we are growing in our onsite vegetable, fruit and herb garden and how you can incorporate that produce in your own cooking and baking at home.

Tomato Jam Jar

What to do with all those tomatoes that ripen at the same time? Try this delicious sweet and savory jam jar. It’s the perfect snack or appetizer!

Herbs from the Garden

Culinary Director & Chef Jon LeBlanc

“Parsley, dill, rosemary, basil, thyme and mint can all be found in the herb garden at the Retreat Center. I love to just walk outside, pick some fresh herbs and then add them to the meal I am serving to our guests. It is as close to farm-to-table as you can get!

This recipe uses two herbs we grow onsite: parsley and basil. I call it The Best Salad Dressing because that is what it is…the best!”

Spotlight On: Peppers

Culinary Director & Chef Jon LeBlanc

“We have a long list of vegetables we grow in our onsite garden and one that we make sure to plant each year are peppers. I love the crispness of a cut pepper as a summer snack or a salad topping but I also love the warm flavor of a pepper when it is cooked. It is another versatile vegetable that can easily be grown in a small space. Even if you don’t have your own garden, you can grow a pepper plant in a container on a deck!

Here is a recipe I wanted to share for stuffed bell peppers. Happy Cooking!”

Spotlight On: Greens

Culinary Director & Chef Jon LeBlanc

“We love serving our guests fresh greens from our garden during the summer months. This year we are growing 6 different varieties: Buttercrunch, Merlot, Red Fire, Edox, and Romaine lettuces and Space Hybrid spinach.

Recently, we were able to share 5 full bins of greens with the Minneapolis community through Mount Olivet Church’s Free Grab and Go Community Meals!

Leafy green vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber but low in calories and offer many health benefits including reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Have you eaten your greens today?”

Spotlight On: Cucumbers

Culinary Director & Chef Jon LeBlanc

“We harvest about 30 pounds of cucumbers here at the retreat center every year! Cucumbers are a great summer vegetable because they are refreshing and hydrating. I love eating them on a hot summer day! I simply slice them and add to a salad or to a pitcher of water or eat them on their own with a few dashes of salt.

Cucumbers contain many nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Did you know that one cup of cucumbers contains 15% of your daily vitamin k? And their antioxidant properties help reduce inflammation.

Enjoy some cucumbers today with these easy recipes!”

Spotlight On: Rhubarb

Culinary Director & Chef Jon LeBlanc

“We have six rhubarb plants that we harvest and each year they provide about 20 quarts of rhubarb to use in the kitchen that season.

What I find interesting about rhubarb is it’s hybrid nature – it looks like a vegetable but tastes like a fruit! Its unique tangy taste goes well with strawberries, raspberry and cherries. It is delicious in many forms: dessert, jams, jellies, served with pork or chicken, or you can even eat the stalks raw with a little sugar or salt.

Want to cook or bake with rhubarb at home? Try out these recipes that show the versatility of this vegetable!”

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