There’s a vegetable garden at Schiphol Airport?!
No — at least, not that I know. But there is the new Hilton at the airport that officially opened in February 2016. A contemporary hotel with a multistory high atrium, cocktail bar in the lobby, and a restaurant with a signature menu. And that’s where I came across the vegetable garden: a clever creation of a silky savory cream topped with black quinoa and garnished with a colorful bunch of baby roots and garnished with microgreens and edible flowers.
The Bowery Restaurant at the Schiphol Hilton features food made with local ingredients, cosmopolitan inspiration and a flair for presentation.
Not in all the years passing through Schiphol did I have a more enjoyable ‘farewell’ at the airport than that evening last April. A live pianist played smooth jazzy tunes in the cocktail bar area. We sat and listened enjoying a local beer and ‘bitterballen’ — that delicious Dutch snack that consists of a hearty meat “bechamel” wrapped in breading and deep-fried — while we waited for my brother. He was joining us for dinner, as a ‘one more time before crossing the Atlantic again’. Soon as he arrived, we moved to the restaurant for a relaxed dinner. We practically forgot we were, in fact, at the airport; the walkway to the terminal was just an elevator ride away.
This recipe — inspired by that “vegetable garden” salad at The Bowery — is easy to make and invites to use whatever root vegetables and greens you have. I had roasted yellow and red beets, and (flowering) herbs from my garden.
1 cup butterbeans
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
tablespoon sour cream
salt/pepper to taste
Assorted roasted roots (beets, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potato: use what you fancy)
1 cup cooked black quinoa, seasoned
Assorted herbs and microgreens
Puree butterbeans with enough olive oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, salt and sour cream to make a smooth paste. Taste and adjust if needed. Spread in a thick layer on a plate you are going to serve your “vegetable garden” on. Top with a layer of the black quinoa (make sure it is seasoned to taste). Toss the root vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Season to taste and arrange on top of the beans-quinoa. Finish with little herbs and microgreens.