Happy Monday to one and all…hope you all had a wonderful weekend. The fresh vegetable season is almost here so I wanted to share a fabulous ez pz recipe with a garden ingredient that you may or may not have heard of…it is one of my most favorite things in the world…
The Garlic Scape! This is the time of the year when they start to show themselves and the season only lasts for about 3-4 weeks…so check your local market and then you too can experience…
aren’t the gorgeous! These are garlic scapes…the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants.
When I see these beauties
my mind thinks of the ripest of tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella and crowned with garlic scape pesto… but then of course pasta should be made, bruschetta, soup, roasted veggie panini and….the list is huge.
Alas…due to my black thumb disease…I get these beauties at my local farm! Hey…NJ is the Garden State…just not in my back yard!
If there is anyone out there that has not experienced the JOY of the Garlic Scape, it is something you must try, you must. Plain and simple it is a heaven like experience and one that you are going to want to have all the time. The season is so incredibly short but the good news is that the pesto does freeze well…more on that below… you are going to be blown away on how many uses this ambrosia of life can create!
The recipe is simple, the process is quick and the results are AMAZING!!!
Your first experience of the harvest should be a simple pesto that accents the flavor, aroma and remarkable taste of the scapes. After that you can play a little. In further batches I like to add a bit of chopped sundried tomatoes, in another some fresh basil or arugula, in another I use walnuts, in another I use almonds…well you get the picture, the world of pesto unlike any other is an open door, it welcomes additions and it can be tailored just so to everyone’s favorite tastes.
Basic Garlic Scape Pesto
approximately 12 garlic scapes (an average bunch) finely chopped
1/2 cup of pinoli nuts or walnuts, or almonds
1/2 cup of your favorite grated cheese (my favorite is a sharp pecorino romano
1/2 cup of good olive oil (I like the full body of Olive Oil, not Extra Virgin) but the choice of course is yours
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
red crushed hot pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (if you don’t have it don’t worry, this just keeps the green more vibrant)
Now comes the fun and easy part. Place 1/2 of your oil and then all of your ingredients into the food processor or blender. Start your chopping pulsing mode while adding the remaining half of the olive oil. If you like it really chunky, you will know when to stop and if you like it smooth, keep going until you reach the desired texture. It all revolves around what YOU enjoy, again, there is no right or wrong, personal preference is the name of the game. This recipe yields about 1 full cup. I like to store it in a glass mason jar with a tight seal and you can use the mixture straight from the fridge for just about a week safely. You won’t have any left any way so don’t worry about it. I have to admit that i just take a spoonful and eat it straight from the jar.
Enjoy it immediately with a fresh sliced Jersey beefsteak tomato and a slice of fresh from the farm mozzarella cheese topped with the pesto.
I also want you to know that thinly sliced scapes can be added to potato salad, noodle salad, tomato salad and anywhere you would add scallion greens, combine the two for an enhance flavor. Enjoy to the fullest! A nice big spoonful of the pesto added to your favorite tomato sauce is incredible!
If you are making extra batches to freeze, just repeat the recipe over and over again, place the mixture in ice cube trays, freeze, pop out and freeze in sealed baggies individually. You can just pop one into mashed potatoes, soup, veggie stew, tomato sauce, fresh tomato sauce, the list never ends. These delicious cubes last about 6 months in the freezer so your love affair is for about 6 months if you prepare for it properly…always store them sealed…air is the enemy! For storage tips…check my other pesto post.
Carpe Diem!!!!! This is a fleeting moment in time, they are here and then they are gone…don’t miss out…don’t wait till next year…don’t wait until tomorrow…Seize the DAY and have a flavor explosion! One that you will be dreaming of in those cold winter months, waiting and wanting the garlic scape season to come again. Experience the JOY!!!!
To learn more about these miracles from Mother Nature click here…Garlic Scapes