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Chef Bryan and Chef Bryant battle it out

Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 15:26:44-04

To celebrate the kick-off of Cultivate KC’s Urban Grown Farm Tour, Bryan Zachery Sparks, executive chef of Broadway Bistro, and executive chef Bryant Wigger of Tavernonna in the Hotel Phillips, face-off in a down-and-dirty vegetable challenge using produce from Powell Garden’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription box. This pop-up provides the opportunity to learn more about Powell Gardens and its partners Cultivate KC’s and The Giving Grove. The event includes cooking demos and tastings, an on-site tour of the orchards and community garden at Kauffman Legacy Park. Cooks can also purchase copies of former KC Star food editor Jill Silva’s “Eating for Life Cookbook” and local food advocate Beth Bader’s “The Cleaner Plate Club,” both with plenty of creative recipes featuring vegetables.

Ricotta with Summer Vegetables

Makes 1 serving

  • 2 beets, well-scrubbed and quartered (reserve edible greens for another recipe)
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 4 whole strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 medium cucumber, shaved into thin slices with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 medium radishes, remove tops and shaved into thin slices with a vegetable peeler
  • Purslane sprigs and leaves, for garnish
  • Olive oil, for garnish

1. In a saucepan, add beets, white wine, pink peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic cloves and poach on low heat for 25 minutes, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife blade. Set aside.

2. In another small saucepan, heat vinegar, sugar and 2 cups water until boiling. Remove the mixture from the heat and submerge the strawberries in the hot liquid and allow to cool slightly.

3. In a medium mixing bowl filled with 2 cups ice water, stir in remaining 4 tablespoons salt, add shaved cucumbers and radishes and chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes until crisp.

4. Whip the ricotta with cream, remaining 2 tablespoons kosher salt and lemon zest until well combined.

5. To serve, spread ricotta evenly on a plate. Distribute warm poached beets and strawberries over with some poaching liquid. Garnish with chilled cucumber and radish shavings, purslane leaves and a drizzle of oil. Eat with a spoon or use pita bread, lavash, crostini or any other bread of your choosing.

6. Cheers!

Recipe by Bryan Zachery Sparks, executive chef of Broadway Bistro