Kitchen Garden Seeds

Vegetable Tower
Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa 1 Old Chico Road * Pray, Montana 59065 Phone: 406-333-4933 *

Nestled in the foothills of the Absaroka Mountains in Montana’s Paradise Valley, Chico Hot Springs Resort is a rustic oasis where we floated in steaming hot springs, and feasted in their quaint 100-year old dining room. The service was impeccable and the food divine. Most of the produce was harvested from their own organic garden and geothermal greenhouses. We so enjoyed their signature Fennel Breadsticks, Vegetable Tower and irresistible Orange Flambe. If you can’t visit soon, you must get “A Montana Table: Recipes from Chico Hot Springs Resort” by Seabring Davis (ThreeForks, an imprint of the Globe Pequot Press).

Vegetable Tower


  • 3 sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons minced Garlic
  • 4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • Vegetables

  • 3 semi-ripe Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced in ½"-thick rings
  • 2 medium Red Onions, sliced into rings
  • 2 large Eggplants, sliced into rings
  • 1 bunch Asparagus, stems cut off
  • 2 large Zucchini, cut lengthwise
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar Reduction Sauce (below)
  • ½ cup Basil Oil (below)

  • Balsamic Vinegar Reduction Sauce

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

  • Basil Oil

  • 1 cup fresh Basil, packed without stems
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil
  • 12-inch piece of cheesecloth

  • To prepare marinade: Mix all marinade ingredients together, squeezing juice from lemons. Add sliced vegetables and toss until all are coated with oil. Marinate for at least 2 hours at room temperature.

    Remove vegetables from marinade and grill until soft but not charred or mushy. Vegetables such as Tomatoes and Zucchini will finish before others, so check throughout grilling; remove cooked pieces.

    Drizzle individual oversized plates generously with alternating lines of Basil Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction Sauce on top of the sauce, build four individual towers with Eggplant, Onion, Tomato and Zucchini, in that order, sprinkling crumbled goat cheese between each vegetable layer. Arrange Asparagus in a fan around the base of the tower on the plate, top with more goat cheese crumbles and serve. You can also build the towers on one large serving platter depending on the occasion. Serves 4.

    Balsamic Vinegar Reduction Sauce
    In a saucepan reduce vinegar over medium heat until it forms a syrup (about 20 minutes). If it coats a spoon, the sauce is done.

    Basil Oil
    Blanch Basil in boiling water for 10 seconds. Shock in ice water. Pat dry with paper towels. It is important to dry leaves thoroughly; water will make the oil separate. Combine Basil and oil in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Strain Basil Oil through cheesecloth, do not squeeze.