Fisher's garden isn't large, but in scope it is enormous. Hand-dug,
the 20 x 25
foot parcel of dark, organic earth supports a variety of herbs
and edible flowers used for far more than making his carefully
concocted dishes look beautiful. Roger's flowers also taste good.
"Squash blossoms are very interesting dipped in a light tempura
batter and deep-fried until crisp. Daylily blossoms can be stuffed
with any number of creamy Ūllings, such as smoked tomato and cream
cheese or a Boursin mixture," advised Roger. "The flowers
of pungent herbs like oregano and mint have a more delicate flavor
than the leaves and add an ethereal quality to a dish. And any
green salad can be dressed up simply by adding some radishy nasturtium
blossoms or lemony bergamot petals."
has lived in the Centre Region since 1967, when he came to Penn
State from Lower Burrell near New Kensington outside of Pittsburgh
to study architecture. "When I Ūrst came to town, there were
only a few hotels and several family-style restaurants,"
he recalled. "American food dominated. Today there is a lot
of choice in the area for inventive cuisine, including new, small
places with Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Mexican menus. Our population
has become diverse, and demand for foods native to other countries
working in many area restaurants and hotels, in 1988 Roger and
then partner Remy Du Pasquier opened The Governor's Table in Bellefonte
and operated the restaurant until 1993, when both moved on to
other ventures. During the heyday of the enterprise, Roger found
that he couldn't get the herbs he needed locally. With the help
of his wife, Mary, a former agriculture student at Penn State,
he started to grow his own. His garden is abundant with a wide
variety of culinary herbs including nine varieties of thyme, Ūve
types of rosemary, three lavenders, and seven types of basil.
The following recipes make use of his prodigious herbal bounty.