Well, I promised to report back on some of my new adventures based on this Saturday's farmers market booty. I've not been derailed, but simply delayed - but here is a report on the world of garlic scapes. As I've learned in the days since their arrival in my kitchen, scapes are the young flowering shoots produced by garlic plants before the bulbs we're so familiar with mature. Removing these shoots means that more energy goes to producing bigger bulbs. Plus, the shoots are edible themselves - a win-win situation!
I was very intrigued by the pile of curly fronds that filled part of my CSA bag - they looked like long skinny green beans but had the smell of garlic. What to do?
I found this recipe as the first response to the ever-helpful Google search (whatever did we do before Google?). After reading the blog entry I was really excited to have such a gourmet treat to try. About half of the scapes made their way into my rendition of the garlic scape pesto featured in the entry. I didn't actually remove the flowery tops as mentioned in the recipe (as other recipes I read said they were the best part), but I trimmed them like a green bean (taking off any cut ends or stems) and chopped them into small pieces. The smell was overwhelming - I love garlic and this didn't disappoint - I think my kitchen will smell like garlic for days to come!
The walnuts and scapes made a light chopped mixture in my food processor and after adding the oil in a slow stream I was rewarded with bright green, smooth (yet still somewhat chunky) mixture. Add some freshly-ground pepper and some salt - yum!
Verdict: The pesto is just as imagined - bright and crisp with very strong (although green-tasting) garlic flavor. My first taste of the pesto was mixed with a batch of tofu noodles and topped with slivers of fresh basil from the garden. I had to add a lot more salt for my taste and I would have to admit I was a little overwhelmed (darn that tendency toward heartburn I've gained now that I'm in my 'early thirties'!).
The next time I utilize the pesto it will likely be as an accompanying flavor rather than the main one. I'm thinking hummus, veggies, and pesto wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Or maybe one of these great ideas...