Throughout the winter, kids in our community visited the Garden at AT&T Park to tend to the plants, cook healthy meals, and learn about where real food comes from. Now that spring has returned and baseball season is underway, we’re thrilled to have fans back in the Garden to cheer on our San Francisco Giants. In preparation for the new season, our team planted new crops and developed garden-to-table dishes for our bistro menus. We encourage fans to explore the Garden while enjoying their salads — you’ll find many of the ingredients growing around you!
The Garden at AT&T Park team loves to reconnect fans with the story of our food. Sunflower seeds and peanuts are staples in any ballpark — some of you may remember the sunflowers we grew last year.
This season, we decided to grow peanuts alongside them, and consequently added herb-roasted nuts to our bistro menu. The mix of peanuts and cashews roasted in rosemary and chili flakes makes for the perfect snack to take back to the stands and enjoy while watching the game.
During the off-season, our gardeners and chefs worked together to design new menu items based on the fruits, vegetables, and herbs growing in the Garden. AT&T Park Executive Chef David Button enjoys exploring the Garden to see what’s ready for harvest. During one of his visits last season, he noticed the giant zucchinis emerging in one of our plant beds. He must have been inspired, because this season he’s using them in the Hearth Table’s newest dish – a grilled zucchini flatbread topped with shaved parmesan, olive oil, garden thyme, and toasted almonds.
We’ve also introduced new tossed-to-order salads on the Garden Table menu. Our wild arugula salad features roasted cauliflower, garbanzo beans, shaved rainbow carrots, gold raisins, pickled red onions, pine nuts, and a Madras curry vinaigrette. And our mixed lettuce salad is tossed with red quinoa, garden cherry tomatoes, shaved fennel, Kalamata olives, crumbled feta, and a splash of tarragon vinaigrette.
Alongside our strawberry lavender spa water and Meyer lemonade, we added sun tea to both bistros, brewed using the power of the sun. Our chefs harvest lemon and stevia to flavor the tea and let it cook in the sun the day before the game. With its strong taste, stevia is an herb commonly used to make sweeteners, and serves as the perfect natural sweetener for our sun tea. Otherwise known as “candy leaf,” this herb is a favorite among the kids who visit the garden. We love to see their eyes light up when they bite into it.
This season Colavita, a company specializing in extra virgin olive oil and other Italian products, has agreed to sponsor the Garden. In honor of this partnership, we planted a Maurino olive tree and a variety of Italian herbs including oregano and basil, making this plant bed our very own “Little Italy.” Representatives from Colavita will join us in the Garden during several games for olive oil sampling and demonstrations. Whether it’s mixed in our vinaigrettes, drizzled on our flatbreads, or grilled with our veggies, olive oil makes its way into almost every dish in our garden bistros.
With spring in full swing, we invite you to join us in the Garden to see the plants in bloom, taste our new dishes, and learn the story behind every plate we serve. We have a great feeling about this season … after all it’s another lucky even year!
By Sam Wilder, Community Development & Gardening Associate