Amy Vitale serves up the recipe for Tables' Garden Mint Ice Cream

Amy Vitale, co-owner of Tables, which I review this week, knows how to use a whisk, sauté pan and chef's knife. But as it turns out, this talented chef has quite a green thumb, too. In the backyard garden of the Park Hill home she shares with Tables co-owner, chef and spouse Dustin Barrett, Vitale has nurtured peaches, apples, zucchini, rhubarb, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, beets and herbs -- all of which have found their way onto the restaurant's menu.

"We try to do as much as possible," says Vitale, who hopes to add a greenhouse and "greenroof" atop their garage so they can grow even more.

See also: - The family operation at Tables is both comforting and surprising - Slide show: Behind the scenes at Tables

Here is her recipe for Tables' Garden Mint Ice Cream, which is sure to please both gardeners (because it uses so much mint!) and dessert-lovers alike.

Tables' Garden Mint Ice Cream Recipe from Amy Vitale, Tables

Ingredients 1/3 quart plus 1 cup mint, cut into chiffonade (thin slices) and loosely packed 1 ½ quarts milk 1 ¾ quarts cream 3 cups sugar 2 ¾ cups egg yolks

Whisk the mint, milk, cream and sugar over high heat until sugar dissolves, then stir every few minutes until the mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Whisk the egg yolks, off heat, in a bowl. Adding one cup of hot cream at a time, pour cream into yolks and stir well, then add another cup and so on, until you have used half the cream. Add this egg-cream mixture back to the pot and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour into a rondeau pan or stock pot set in an ice bath and cool completely. Store in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to prepare, strain out the mint, then fill a 4-quart ice cream mixer three-quarters full and mix for 25 minutes. Scoop into a separate container and fold in the remaining 1 cup mint.

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