To the cook whipping up a homemade dish, nothing beats the ability to add chopped herbs freshly pinched from the garden. Now chefs at Preston’s, the restaurant at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, are only steps away from their own freshly planted herb garden.

Situated on the east lawn not far from the restaurant’s windows, the garden features parsley, basil, dill, and other herbs often used in Preston’s cooking and garnishing.

“Like all great cooks, Preston’s chefs have always valued the flavor that comes from fresh herbs,” says Sous Chef David Oehring, who has planted and nurtured the herbs. “Now, with our own garden, we have the freshest possible aromas and tastes. To celebrate, we’d like to share our recipe for smoked salmon flatbread featuring fresh dill from the garden.”

Preston's Smoked Salmon Flatbread

On one naan (clay oven-baked flatbread available in many supermarkets and Asian food stores) that has been heated on a grill or panini press, spread 1 tablespoon of sour cream, leaving a narrow border. Lay out 4 to 5 thin slices of smoked salmon on the bread. (See accompanying photo.) Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of caviar over the salmon. Cut 2 sprigs of fresh dill with scissors and sprinkle over all, garnishing with lemon wedges. (At Preston’s, the appetizer is served with pepper freshly ground at the table.)

Preston’s is soon to announce a new dinner menu with an emphasis on locally grown and produced foods and all-natural ingredients. The changes are a result of new oversight by Benchmark Hospitality International. The Houston-based company took over management of the Inn Jan. 1.

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