Garlic Scape Pesto

Posted on May 31, 2012. Filed under: easy, garden, healthy, recipe, Uncategorized, vegetable | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Garlic scape pesto with garden-fresh snow peas.

One of my favorite things about my gardening hobby is that it has offered me a world of new challenges (and I love a good challenge). It’s not always a joyous introduction, as was the case of my hostile introduction to the spinach leaf miner. They are, ironically, eating my beet greens while the spinach sits, undisturbed, only three feet away. Happily, most of the learning opportunities are positive. Recent example: answering the question, “What Does One Do With Garlic Scapes?”

Last year, I grew garlic for the first time. It was a modestly successful attempt, certainly encouraging enough to try again this year. I planted the bulbs from the largest head last autumn, and (not so) patiently watched as the plants grew up this spring. I’d learned last year that you need to cut off the scape (the immature flower) when it begins to curl, so that the garlic plant could put all its energy into bulb development. I also learned that the scape was edible–it has a mild, chive-garlic flavor. What I didn’t learn last year was what to do with the edible scapes, so I just chopped them and added to whatever I was cooking. They certainly enhanced the flavor of a dish, but I wasn’t highlighting the flavor.

Last week, my friend, writer Sherrie Flick, suggested making a pesto. I’d already made ramp pesto (miss you, dear ramps) this season, and that was a success. So, why not try scape pesto?

5 Garlic Scapes
Slightly less than 1/4 Cup Roasted Almonds
(Soak almonds in water for 10 minutes before blending, add 2 Tsp of the water)
1/8 Cup Grapeseed Oil
1/8 Cup Parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt

The pesto is terrifically versatile. I used some on grilled chicken. But the real highlight was tossing the pesto with some garden-picked snow peas and a teaspoon of bacon fat. The dish tasted like springtime bathed in rich butter; yet it was fairly low in calories and cost less than a dollar to make. Win!

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Spicy Snow Peas

Posted on April 15, 2010. Filed under: easy, recipe, vegetable | Tags: , , , , |

I left town for a week. While I was gone, my garden went mad with snow peas. Apparently, it’s not a good idea to plant all your snow peas at one time, unless you plan on eating a mountain of them for several days in a row. I steamed some, chomped some raw ones, made chicken with snow peas, and even gave some away. But still, more snow peas. I had to get creative.

So I decided to make them spicy. I’m glad I did. The cool, grassy flavor of the snow peas balanced wonderfully with the hot sauce and subtle curry notes. And I felt pretty swell using my creativity to make a dish I hadn’t thought of before. Too bad I’m nearly out of snow peas now.

Add to a hot pan:
One Teaspoon Olive Oil
One Pound Snow Peas
1/2 Red Onion, diced

Cook for two minutes, and then add:
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Curry Powder

Cook one minute, and then add:
1/4 Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Teaspoon (or more!) Sriracha or other hot sauce

Cook one more minute. Serve hot.

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