In Bloom! Fresh Memorial Day Recipes

by Melody Kettle

Spring is in full bloom in my yard! I'm so happy, for a moment I'll ignore the mud and the pollen, and adore my little baby beauties!

The Concord Grapes have formed little  clusters, and the plums and Asian pears are growing.  The "hot bed" - that's what my Grandfather called it - you may know it as a "raised bed,"  is full of micro greens and baby lettuce.  The raspberries are just starting, the peas are growing, and most importantly, I've got tomatoes.

For a foodie, this is a big deal. The freshest produce, available, right outside the door. What a luxury!

Here's a great spring recipe, that's perfect for Memorial Weekend, courtesy of Chef Michael Carrino, owner of Restaurant Passionne, 77 Walnut Street, Montclair.

Grilled Romaine Salad

Serves 4

2 heads romaine lettuce split in half

½  cup white balsamic vinegar

½  cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic minced

1 large shallot minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp chopped parsley


1.    In a large zip tight bag place all ingredients and allow to marinate for about an hour mix ing around every few minutes

2.    Heat your grill on high and place the four pieces of romaine spread evenly so they do not touch

3.    Allow the lettuce to grill for about one minute then turn and grill for another two minutes.

4.    Remove the lettuce from the grill and cut into desired size and serve with marinated grilled flank steak (see recipe below)

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

Serves 4

1 flank steak cut into 4 equal pieces

1 cup light soy sauce

½ cup sherry wine

1 Tbls dark brown sugar

1 Tbls crushed red pepper flakes

1 Tbls fresh grated ginger (1 tsp dried ground ginger can be used as a substitute)

1 Tbls minced fresh garlic


1.     Place all ingredients in a large zip tight bag and marinate overnight      

2.    The next day,heat gill on high and remove the steaks from the marinade

3.    Place steaks in grill for about two minutes then rotate to form cross marks for another two minutes. 

4.    Flip  the steaks for two minutes and rotate again for two minutes to form another set of cross (hatch) marks.

5.    Remove from grill, rest for two to three minutes then slice and lay over a grilled romaine salad (see recipe above)


Want more recipes? CLICK HERE for Spring Sweet Pea Soup! Visit the GALLERY for more produce pics.

So how is your gardening going? What garden grown produce do you look forward to the most?


Restaurant Passionne

77 Walnut St.

Montclair, NJ 07042

p. 973-233-1006
f. 973-233-1161

Restaurant Passionne is a BYOB, so don't forget your wine.

General Information

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 For Online Reservations use our Opentable link below!


Passionne Reservations

Restaurant Passionne is open for  Dinner Wednesday thru Sunday
from 5pm - 10pm.