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15.02.24 | Features

Behind the scenes: Our summer garden & favourite homemade dressings

Our founder and CEO, Margot Acland, is an avid gardener. It’s a lifelong passion that stems from a Murupara childhood and a garden-to-plate upbringing.

Just over a year ago, Margot was inspired to share this passion and transform Città’s Auckland support office car park into an edible garden.

As the seasons change, the urban garden offers a different array of vegetables and fruit. A balmy summer has seen the garden flourish with lettuces and leafy greens, sun-ripened tomatoes and chillies, and juicy strawberries—the latter being a crowd-favourite!

We’ve enjoyed picking fresh produce at lunchtimes and have especially loved transforming meals with fresh herbs.

To celebrate the flavour and versatility of herbs, we asked our foodie team members to share some of their favourite homemade dressing recipes. Discover the recipes below (including Margot’s famed pesto) and be inspired to recreate at home.

Pesto Sauce
Margot Acland
Founder & CEO

“I find it relaxing to be outside in the sun and it’s so satisfying watching plants grow. There’s a real pleasure in picking what you eatㅡI love adding as many herbs as I can to every dinner.”

2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano
2 tbsp freshly grated pecorino romano

Put all the pesto ingredients, except the cheeses, into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour the sauce into a bowl. Add the parmigiano and pecorino and blend well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the pesto sauce is too thick and you don’t want to use more oil, add a bit of pasta cooking water to thin it out. Serve with pasta, potatoes or on a bagel.

Chimichurri Sauce
Imogen Tomlin
Social media manager

“I served the chimichurri with a roast leg of lamb as part of our Christmas feast, and it was the star of the show. For those that don't eat meat, it was dipped into with crusty sourdough. It wouldn't be Christmas without leftovers, so I ate it with my scrambled eggs the next day, which was equally as delightful!”

1 shallot, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup olive oil

Combine shallot, chilli, garlic, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Leave to sit for 10 minutes. Stir in herbs and whisk in oil. If using for meat, reserve 1/2 cup chimichurri as a serving sauce, and use the remainder as a marinade.

Creamy Herb Dressing
Natasha van der Laan

“When it comes to cooking, convenience is key for me. This recipe allows you to throw everything in a blender—stalks and all, no chopping required! I eyeball the ingredients, taste, and adjust until it’s at my preferred taste and consistency. It’s beautifully tangy and herby with a hint of sweetness—transforming a salad in an instant.”

1 cup Greek yoghurt
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh basil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Put all ingredients, except salt and pepper, in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste. Serve with over salad, grilled meat, or use as a dip.