Spring Recipes by Chef Ben Elliott of Saltbox Farm

Elliott heralds the growing season with a family-style meal in a Concord cottage.

Photographs by Pat Piasecki
Event Design and Styling by Tribe Design + Events
Prop Styling by Taylor Greeley/Ennis

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From left: Plates from Vermont-based Farmhouse Pottery round out the clean, elegant tablescape; Elliott plucks pea shoots from the farm’s thriving greenhouse to garnish his burrata appetizer. / Photographs by Pat Piasecki

It’s springtime in Concord, and the fields and pastures of Saltbox Farm are slowly waking up from a long winter’s rest. Fifty-five baby chicks, born several weeks ago, cozy up under a heat lamp in a barn. Four new honeybee hives make their way out to the apiary. And proprietor Ben Elliott and his wife, Julia, are getting ready to host their closest friends and family for a seasonal late-afternoon soiree at the Little House, an English-style cottage on their 10-acre property. “This is the time of year when things really start to happen,” says the chef, who took over his grandparents’ farm more than 10 years ago after stints in some of Boston’s finest kitchens, including No. 9 Park and Locke-Ober. Elliott has just plucked some pea shoots from the greenhouse for his first course of burrata with mint and preserved lemon, part of a fresh spread that will include baked stuffed new potatoes and lamb raised in his own pastures. It’s an elegant, home-style meal that reflects the ethos of his catering business and West Concord café. “I feel like the older I get, the more and more I appreciate simplicity,” he explains. “Let the ingredients speak for themselves.”

As the guests arrive and the prosecco bottles begin to pop, the party moves from the wood-paneled kitchen to the sunny patio, adorned with an antique mill wheel turned table ideal for mixing up a batch of Aperol spritzes. Then it’s time to head into the fireplaced dining room at the Little House and dig in. Inside, voices grow louder, punctuated by laughs and lively conversations about kindergarten orientation, The Great British Baking Show, and a recent holiday in St. John. “Cheers to us, to showing up,” says Julia as the group sips glasses of lightly effervescent Spanish rosé before passing around platters that once belonged to Elliott’s grandparents. It’s the beginning of a new season on the farm, and if this meal is any indication, it’s bound to be a delicious one.

The Saltbox Farm “BLT”


Farm-Egg Toasts


Burrata with English Peas, Mint, and Lemon


Marinated and Roasted Leg of Lamb


Baked Stuffed New Potatoes


Asparagus Salad


Herbed Yogurt Sauce


Strawberry Parfait


Sour-Cream Biscuits

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Elliott chops fresh herbs for his Greek yogurt sauce. / Photograph by Pat Piasecki

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Aperol spritzes. / Photograph by Pat Piasecki

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Partygoers on the Little House’s sunny patio. / Photograph by Pat Piasecki