Girard Gourmet in La Jolla welcomes fall with savory and sweet treats
By Marti Gacioch
Girard Gourmet owners Francois and Diana Goedhuys credit their one-acre organically grown garden in Julian for their bountiful harvest.
Their property boasts 52 fruit and nut trees, a medley of seasonal vegetables, and herbs and spices that provide an ongoing cornucopia of fresh produce.
Twice a week, Francois brings his harvest back to the shop on Girard Avenue in La Jolla, where it inspires his signature plates on a daily basis.
Cooler temperatures have increased diners’ appetites for Francois’ hot homemade soups, he reports.
“We use our organic greens to enhance all of our soups, which are made with our own stock that includes onions, fresh leeks thyme and rosemary,” Goedhuys said. “So our soups are heartier and healthier than they’ve ever been before.” Choices include chicken and brown rice soup, and tomato basil soup made with heirloom tomatoes from his garden.
Other autumn comfort foods include homemade chicken pot pie and a Shepherd’s pie with a thin crust made of cream cheese, butter and stuffed with lamb, a little beef, mashed potatoes, carrots, herbs, spices and leeks on top. “We like to emphasize our garden’s organic greens in all of our dishes, including our quiches,” Goedhuys said.
His organic greens quiche is rich in goat cheese, sun gold tomatoes and a medley of fresh escarole, Swiss chard, beet greens, spinach and kale. His hearty Cowboy Quiche is also brimming with organic greens, along with potatoes, chopped onions, red bell peppers, bacon and ham.
Squash varieties also play a role in the autumn menu. “We make a wonderful banana squash soup, and I also stuffed a banana squash with a mixed vegetable curry sauce, which I’ve served as an entree,” Goedhuys said.
Seasonal fruits from their garden’s trees (apple, pear, pomegranate, plum and apricot and walnut) also inspire Goedhuys’ baking talents. “I’ve been making both individual and full-size pies and tarts, like pear and apple,” Goedhuys said. “ I’ve also been making Strawberry rhubarb pie, and a lemon curd and a pumpkin pie that has poached pears and cranberries.”
Goedhuys is known for the unique seasonal cookies he creates, and with Thanksgiving on the horizon, he plans to bake designer-glazed cookies in the shape of turkeys, pilgrims and Indians.
Girard Gourmet, 7387 Girard Ave., La Jolla is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday. (858) 454-3325. girardgourmet.com
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