Good morning to everyone! Don’t ask me why I’m so up and at 'em on one of my few days off, it could be because it’s such a beautiful day of sunny weather, or just the fact I’m off work today. Or because I’m on my third cup of coffee when I usually only have one. I’d like to think it’s because I’m excited that all the snow has finally melted in the fence rows and the view is definitely turning green. I think today I’m going to social distance myself and try to get a bit of sun on my face and walk up and down the runway, looking at the beautiful garlic crop with our dogs beside me.
Last year my friend Hiliary and I had the most amazing trip to go visit my daughter where she was at school in Sligo, Ireland. We had left on a really bad snowstorm and and arrived to see green everywhere and I’ll never forget how beautiful it was. So now that I’m thinking green, good food and garlic, I want to talk about the forgotten part of this amazing superfood...the scape! It’s green, curly, and has a beautiful little flower, but it absolutely has to come off the garlic plant in order for the energy to go back to the bulb to grow bigger. So why not eat it!
Paul and I call it the first crop of the garlic season and it’s so tasty but most garlic growers just toss it aside as we did when we first started growing but when I think back it’s such a waste. Boars Rock Farm has opened our gates for agricultural tourism and offer anyone to come get a free bunch of scapes as long as you snap off a row for us. All is welcome and the 50,000 plants get done in a day. I’ll post well in advance with the date but we also will have farm gate sales as well. Most of them are directly loaded to go to Toronto for some of the more premium restaurants as our certified organic scapes are much sought after. They are tender, crisp, and only last for a couple of weeks, but Pure Music Garlic takes what’s left of them and dehydrates them to last much longer.
The general population wouldn’t know how to eat scapes but the are easy to use and very versatile in any recipe. The taste is an amazing blend of onion, scallion and garlic but I also think they have a fresher, “greener” taste than the actual garlic bulb. The texture is like that of asparagus. Just snip off the bulb, and run them under water to get rid of the dirt and the chop them up to what ever length you’d like. They can be used anywhere you would use garlic and onion. They can be sautéed, pureed, roasted and pickled, or even flash freeze them for later use. They’re great in any Asian dish, such as a stir fry. They can be diced and used in omelettes, frittatas, salads, and soups. I love them best tossed in oil, and grilled lightly on the BBQ, so good! They can be eaten raw, but be warned they are a little tough that way. I have a friend who gets a big bag every year and makes pesto. It is one of the most common ways to use scapes and its a great alternative to the standard basil and pine nuts pesto. I will give the recipe at the end of the blog of this incredibly tasty and easy pesto.
As I mentioned before Pure Music Garlic dehydrates the fresh scapes and the packages them up into bags called scape buds and also I powder them into an extremely fine powder that will last for over a year in any spice drawer. I suggest a year because I found that the fresh taste just doesn’t last as long as my garlic powder does. But now you will have that same great scape taste when ever you want it. I again would suggest using the buds and powder however you want to, eggs, soups, stews, stuffing, any potato recipe there is no limit. Remember how I showed you how to rehydrate garlic chips? Do the same thing to scape buds...The result is so tasty! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful green filled day and I have got your tastebuds watering, as promised here is that easy pesto recipe.
You will need:
• 1 cup of chopped garlic scapes (-in.pieces)
• 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
• 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 4 tsp lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp salt
1. Pulse garlic scapes with pine nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Add Parmesan and pulse twice. With motor running, slowly add oil through feed tube until almost smooth. Add lemon juice, and salt.
2. Use pesto right away over pasta, salad, pizza and chicken dish. Or transfer to a glass, seal and refrigerate up to a week. It can be frozen in ice cube trays for future use up to a month.
This should take about 10 minutes and will make 1 cup of pesto. Think green and homemade gifts this year....