It’s Thyme for a celebration

Garden Day is all about stopping to smell the roses and enjoying our gardens in all their wonderful forms. Sharing a meal is a great way to enhance the occasion and, whilst this could be a few simple sandwiches or a slice or two of cake, there are some wholesome, simple recipes that have been specially prepared for you to try out on this day. And these come from a group of exceptional chefs who have been associated with Garden Day from the very start, including Jessica Shepherd and her husband Luke Grant.  Both are chefs committed to sustainability and down-to-earth simplicity. 

Luke and Jess have prepared a scrumptious Vegetable Tart, a wholesome delight brought to life with asparagus spears, courgettes and baby spinach, and enriched by a cheesy sauce. They’ve also contributed a Nasturtium Pesto, easy to make a delicious to enjoy on the day.

Garden Day Vegetable Tart

Serves 4

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 sheet frozen ready-made puff pastry, thawed 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • 1/2 cup grated goats pecorino
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Chopped parsley and chives
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 spring onions
  • 8 asparagus spears
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • Handful baby spinach leaves
  • Wild rocket leaves


  1. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a bowl mix the crème fraiche, half the grated cheese, egg yolks and chopped herbs. Set aside. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and cook the spring onions until just soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.
  4. Slice the courgette and asparagus thinly, either using a mandolin or small sharp knife. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, and prepare a bowl of ice water.
  5. Plunge the asparagus into the boiling water for 10 seconds, then straight into the ice water. Repeat with the courgette. Dry both the asparagus and courgette by laying out on kitchen paper.
  6. Cook the peas until just soft (about 3 minutes).  Refresh in ice water and dry on kitchen paper.
  7. Trim the puff pastry sheet to fit a small rectangular baking tray lined with baking paper. Cut a border about 2cm from the pastry edge, using a small sharp knife and making a shallow incision.  Spread the crème fraiche mixture over the pastry (avoiding the border) and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Arrange the spring onions on top of the tart, followed by the baby spinach leaves, courgette and asparagus spears. Return to the oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
  9. Finish the tart off with the extra grated cheese, rocket leaves and cooked baby peas.

Nasturtium Pesto  


  •  2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds*, toasted
  • 2 cups nasturtium leaves and tender stems
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 spring onion, ends trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated goats pecorino cheese* 
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and lemon juice to taste
    * pumpkin seeds can be substituted with toasted pine nuts, and goats pecorino with parmesan 


  1. Place seeds, nasturtium leaves, garlic, onion and cheese into a blender. Slowly add olive oil whilst blender is running, until smooth paste is formed.
  2. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice 

You can download this recipe here

Of course, the fun comes with how you personalise your dishes with ingredients from your own garden.  If you’re not sure which plants and flowers from your garden are edible you can join and ask the Candide app garden community.  Candide features an extensive knowledge base of plants, plant identification, growing tips and even additional garden-inspired recipe ideas.  

Pair your dish with a good glass of wine or decorate them with a flower crown. However you do it: share and enjoy! 

Follow @GardenDayUK on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and don’t forget to tag us and use #GardenDayUK when you dig in for your Garden Day celebration.