Spring Gardens

Pita bread with a layer of ranch dip, piled high in tasty vegetables, topped with cheese. This Spring Garden recipe will make it easy to eat plenty of vegetables.

Favorite food? Most people say pizza, ice cream, or steak. As a devoted ice cream eater, what I’m about to say holds a lot of weight. My favorite food is not ice cream. It’s Spring Gardens! My favorite food involves layers and layers of vegetables. I know, I can’t believe I said that either.

This food goes beyond its ingredients. It’s nostalgic.

My mom is a teacher which meant my sister and I got to spend lots of time with her in the summers growing up. Our favorite summertime food was Spring Gardens. We’d eat it all year round if we could, but it’s much easier and cheaper to get fresh vegetables in the summer. When she first made them for us, we were skeptical about all the veggies, but after the first bite we were hooked.

This recipe was inspired by a Library Square menu item, a local restaurant mom waited tables at for three years while she was in college. It closed a year after she left, but the food was one of a kind.

I love hearing mom’s Library Square stories. Based off of the menu items she replicated for us at home—Spring Gardens, French Dips, Librarians, Vanilla Malts—I’m convinced I would have like this place too.

Every once in a while we’d be out to eat or grocery shopping and someone I’d never met would start talking to mom and say how nice it was to see her again. The moment they’d walk away, we’d ask, “Who’s that?” More often than not, she’d tell us it was someone fromLibrary Square.

Mom said, “I still feel my three year waitressing experience was one of the most valuable of my life.” It taught her how to manage a lot of things at the same time while keeping it together, working with coworkers and putting on a nice face for customers.

She was right. I followed in her footsteps and waited tables in college too. It taught me a lot about failure, quick thinking, and how to be nice even when people aren’t being nice to you.

There’s a lot to be learned from being a waiter or waitress, but one of the best things that came from mom’s experience is the Spring Gardens!

How Spring Gardens Are Made

Spring Gardens begin with a layer of ranch dip evenly spread across a piece of pita bread.

Next, my favorite ingredient, is the alfalfa sprouts.

After that comes the cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms and whatever else you’d like.

Top it with a layer of cheese and bake until the cheese is melted.

It’s that easy! And just wait for the taste! You won’t be disappointed.

Spring Gardens Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-6 pita bread
  • 16 oz. plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 (1 oz.) packet of ranch seasoning
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • 2-3 sliced cucumbers
  • 2-3 sliced tomatoes
  • 8-10 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • Chopped green onions (optional)
  • Sliced black olives (optional)
  • Shredded cheese

Directions

  1. Mix the ranch seasoning into the Greek yogurt. It’s important to do this first, even before chopping veggies, as this ranch dip is best if you give it time to sit.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  3. Once all the veggies are sliced, place the pita bread on a baking sheet.
  4. Put a dollop of ranch dip on the pita and spread an even layer.
  5. Next add a layer of sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Add some green onions and black olives if you’d like.
  6. Sprinkle a layer of cheese on top and put it in the oven for about 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Optional: Broil the top so the cheese browns a bit.
  7. Enjoy!