Cooking demonstrations at the U.S. Botanic GardenLooking for ideas on how to use seasonal fruits and vegetables? The following cooking demonstrations provide instruction, tips, recipes, and ideas on plants you can grow so you have the freshest ingredients at your fingertips. Enjoy!

Cooking Demonstration Videos

Find all of the Garden's Online Cooking Demo videos in these playlists. Explore and find new recipes to cook and new plants to grow!

Purple eggplants

Cooking with the Cook Sisters:

Presenters: Danielle Cook, MS, Nutritionist, and Cooking Instructor; and Adrienne Cook, Gardening and Cooking Writer

Watch the latest Cooking with the Cook Sisters video here, and click the playlist in the video's upper right corner to see all videos in this playlist. You can also see the full playlist here.

Local Chef Series

In our local chef series, we explore recipes from here at home to around the world and the plants that bring these recipes to life. This month, Chefs Ester and Stan demonstrate classic African dishes with a twist, highlighting the use of spinach, plantains, yams, and more! Join us to discover dishes and cuisines that celebrate how plants shape our food and culture. You can also see the full playlist here.

Cooking with Soul

Presenter: Tambra Raye Stevenson, Founder and Culinary Nutritionist, NativSol Kitchen

Watch the latest Cooking with Soul video here, and click the playlist in the video's upper right corner to see all videos in this playlist. You can also see the full playlist here.


Find and download the recipes featured in the Cooking Demos:

Older Video Archive (new videos are posted via the playlist above):

June 4: Raw Beet Salad with Oranges

Broccoli, spinach, kale, and mesclun are all coming on right now. Join Danielle for this online cooking demonstration as she shares a Raw Beet Salad with Oranges and Spring Green. This nutrient-dense recipe uses Adrienne's home-grown spring salad mix along with colorful beets. During the demo, Adrienne will share some tips on how to keep favorite cool-weather salad greens going as days warm up.


Recipe: Raw Beet Salad with Oranges [PDF]

½ lb. raw beets, a mix of colors if possible (about 4 small or 3 medium), peeled
1 orange, peeled and segmented (“supremes”)
6 C spring greens, washed and spun dry
¼ C fresh chives, finely cut, or other fresh herbs of your choice (tarragon, basil)
Optional – crumbled feta cheese or soft goat cheese, for garnish
1 T white wine or champagne vinegar
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 t Dijon mustard
3 T extra virgin olive oil
½ t sea salt

May 28: Pantry Cooking - Homestyle Chunky Tomato Sauce  

The ever-versatile can of tomatoes, along with other pantry staples, comes to the rescue in this week! Join Danielle for this online cooking demonstration as she shares how to prepare a satisfying Homestyle Chunky Tomato Sauce. Then join Adrienne to learn about planting and growing different varieties of basil, a culinary favorite and highlight of summer recipes.


Recipe: Homestyle Chunky Tomato Sauce [PDF]

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ large sweet onion or 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 3 cups diced, OR substitute 1-28oz. can fire-roasted
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, minced OR 1 tablespoon dried
¼ cup fresh oregano, minced OR 1 tablespoon dried
¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 6) - optional
½ teaspoon sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

May 21: Butter Lettuce with Sugar Snap Peas  

This time of year sweet butter lettuce makes its debut in gardens, farms, and markets. Join Danielle online as she celebrates this delicious green, putting together a healthy salad that includes other springtime favorites such as sweet peas and radishes. Then join Adrienne at the end of the demo for a quick tutorial on planting salad greens, helping you stock up for late spring and summer.


Recipe: Butter Lettuce with Sugar Snap Peas [PDF]

1 head butter lettuce, washed and dried, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
8oz fresh English peas, or 1 C frozen peas, thawed
8oz sugar snap peas, strings removed
6 medium radishes, thinly sliced
3 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
For garnish – 2 T coarsely chopped dill, tarragon, basil, chives and/or parsley

May 14: Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup and Roasted Red Pepper and Pine Nut Salad  

Chilly nights can sneak up on us this time of year, so this week join Danielle for an online demonstration of a quick, easy, and warming Fire Roasted Tomato Soup using ingredients from your pantry. During the demonstration, Danielle will also share perfect salad to accompany this soup: Roasted Red Pepper and Pine Nut Salad. At the end of the online demonstration, Adrienne Cook will take you into her garden for planting tips on salad greens.


Recipe: Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup and Roasted Red Pepper and Pine Nut Salad [PDF]

1 C sweet onion, chopped (about one medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 T butter
3 (14oz) cans fire roasted tomatoes - OR 2 ½ lbs. ripe tomatoes (about three very large) core
removed and diced large
1 t agave nectar or maple syrup
1 t sea salt
1½ C chicken broth, preferably homemade
½ C dry white wine
½ C heavy cream
½ C fresh basil leaves, chopped - optional


May 7: Rosemary Lavender Lemon Shortbread 

Cooking with herbs adds flavor to almost anything, from soups to salad and even a decadent buttery shortbread. Join Danielle for this online demonstration as she shares an aromatic, indulgent shortbread recipe featuring rosemary, lavender, and lemon. Then join Adrienne for a short tutorial on growing herbs in pots.


Recipe: Rosemary Lavender Lemon Shortbread [PDF]

½ C granulated sugar (preferably evaporated cane sugar, natural)
1 T rosemary leaves
½ t lavender buds
2 C all-purpose flour
1 C (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 t lemon zest
1 t honey (preferably dark, full flavored) - optional
Raw (Turbinado) sugar, for sprinkling


April 30: Confetti Grain and Bean Salad

What you have in your pantry is key to easy meal preparation at any time, but never so much as now. Join Danielle for this online demonstration as she shares tips on how to keep your pantry ready for any recipe. She’ll also show you how to make Confetti Grain and Bean Salad, a colorful, simple side using what you have on hand. At the end of the online demonstration, Adrienne Cook will demonstrate quick steps for getting a garden ready to plant.


Recipe: Confetti Grain and Bean Salad recipe [PDF]

2 C cooked grain of your choice – quinoa, bulgur, barley, couscous, farro, wheatberry, rice
1 (14.5oz) can bean of your choice, drained
OR 1½ C cooked beans from dry – white beans, garbanzo, kidney, azuki, black beans
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T minced fresh ginger – or ¼ t dried ginger
1 small carrot, diced (about ½ cup)
1 celery stalk, diced (about ½ cup)
1 C sweet bell pepper (red, yellow, orange), diced – can substitute jar roasted red peppers
½ C peas, frozen
¼ C red onion, minced or 3 scallions, sliced thin
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
¼ C toasted nuts – almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds
Sea salt and pepper to taste


April 23: Soupe au Pistou

Spring and summer vegetables make their way into this comforting soup, and ingredient options abound. Join Danielle Cook online as she demonstrates how to make this classic French soup with a variety of substitutions straight from your pantry.


Recipe: Soupe au Pistou recipe [PDF]

1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Vegetables – pick and choose based upon your availability:
2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
crosswise, washed well, and drained
2 small celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, cut into small dice
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 small tomatoes, chopped or ½ can (15oz) diced tomatoes
3 small red bliss potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 C fresh or frozen green beans, cut into ½ inch piece
1 C fresh or frozen peas
1 can (15oz.) small white beans, such as navy, rinsed and drained
5-6 C vegetable or chicken broth
1 Parmesan rind, about 1 by 3 inches (-optional)
¼ cup small pasta, such as elbow, small shells, ditalini or stars (-optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste


April 16: It's Thyme for Marinating Mushrooms

Spring and fall bring out mushrooms, and variety abounds. Join Danielle online as she talks about tasty fungi and demonstrates how to make marinated mushrooms. She will also be sharing tips on growing, selecting, and storing mushrooms for maximum benefit. 


Recipe: Thyme for Marinating Mushrooms recipe [PDF]

4 oz. white button or cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced thin
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 T)
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 t dried)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ t sea salt – more to taste
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


April 9: Orzo with Asparagus

Join Danielle Cook for an online cooking demonstration featuring another family favorite springtime recipe, Orzo with Asparagus, Feta, Spinach, and Lemon. This quick and easy dish is full of great nutrition and popping with flavor. You won’t want to miss learning about the excellent ingredients in this versatile ‘sure-to-please’ side dish that will become a staple in your culinary repertoire.


Recipe: Orzo with Asparagus recipe [PDF]

½ lb. orzo, cooked
1 lb. asparagus
1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
2 T extra virgin olive oil
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 small lemon
½ cup toasted nuts – chopped pistachios, pine nuts, slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds
1 cup feta, crumbled
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
Salt to taste


April 2: Asparagus Spinach Pesto

Join Danielle Cook for an online cooking demonstration featuring one of springtime’s favorite vegetables, asparagus. Versatile and tasty, this member of the lily family is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, folic acid, and B vitamins. Asparagus is high in anti-inflammatory properties as well as fiber. Join the Garden online and learn about Danielle’s awesome Asparagus Spinach Pesto recipe, a family favorite.


Recipe: Asparagus Spinach Pesto recipe [PDF]

1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 lb), trimmed of tough ends and halved crosswise
3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 C grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1 C pine nuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
Juice of ½ lemon
½ t fine-grain sea salt
Pinch red pepper or to taste
8 ounces of dried pasta or 12 ounces fresh pasta - linguini, fettuccini