May 21, 2018

Park District serves up local lunch items

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Clermont County Park District Naturalist Alyssa Rooks shows off her pesto appetizer before serving to guests at the wild edibles luncheon May 19 at Hartman Cabin.

WILLIAMSBURG – Farm-to-table food is so 2015.

The Clermont County Park District served up park-to-table cuisine at its Wild Edibles Luncheon May 19 at Hartman Cabin.

Guests dined on a four-course meal – appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert – prepared and served by Park District staff. The menu could just as easily have been yard-to-table.

“Each dish we serve features ingredients we found in our parks,” said Naturalist Alyssa Rooks. “But they are things you might find in your own back yard, too.”

A bright pesto created with garlic mustard leaves instead of the traditional basil made the appetizer.

The salad featured wild violets and dandelion greens, augmented by spinach.

The stir-fry entrée included cattail shoots, day lily tubers and wild onion, served over couscous flavored with wild onion.

Banana bread baked with amaranth grain processed into flour ended the meal. Elderberry jam came on the side.

“There’s a lot good food growing wild all over Clermont County,” Rooks said. “Not only is it good, it’s good for you, too. This is a great way to eat healthy and stretch your food budget at the same time.”

Mark D. Motz is the Community Relations Manager for the Clermont County Park District. A native Cincinnatian, he has worked for more than 25 years as an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. Away from work, he enjoys photography, theater and spending time with his nine godchildren.

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