Sunday, May 22, 2011

Garlic Scape Pesto

From Gardening

This is the first year we have tried growing garlic, and just as we were pleasantly surprised by chive blossoms, garlic scapes were a completely new phenomenon to us. A few weeks before garlic is ready to be harvested, new shoots come out of the plant and curl around, and a blossom starts to form. If you harvest these off before they bloom, they can be a tasty treat. Please see our gardening blog for information on harvesting the garlic scape.

I originally had thoughts to just saute some up so we could really taste them, but then I came across a pesto recipe and decided to go that direction instead, not knowing how powerful the scape would be. I got the recipe idea from a video posted by Grow! Cook! Eat!, although I will post what I actually did below since I didn't follow their recipe exactly.

From Gardening

Garlic Scape Pesto
6-8 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins rubbed off as much as possible
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
olive oil

Whirl the scapes in a food processor until evenly and finely chopped. Add hazelnuts (any nut, but that's what we had!), cheese, and salt until combined. Leave processor on and pour olive oil in a steady thin stream until it is the texture you desire. We leave it somewhat chunky (and less oily) and just thin it out with pasta water; it is a little healthier that way.

We tossed about half the recipe with a pound of pasta and some fresh snow peas, because that was what was on hand.

Actually, I used about double this many scapes, and that was super sharp garlic overkill, so I'd recommend less!!! I'm going to try baking the rest on fish or in a pizza and see if that mellows out the sharpness a bit. Scapes are not shy!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chive Blossoms

From Gardening

I am not sure where I first came across the enlightening information that chive blossoms could be eaten. But we had a bunch come up in the garden this spring, so I was determined to try them out. I found recipes where they were deep fried or even sauteed, but I wanted to make sure I could still taste the delicate oniony flavor.

Spring omelet with chive blossoms
I'm not sure I'd call the flavor that delicate, actually. I munched on a few completely raw, and they pack a punch! I mixed them in with the eggs for this omelet as well as sprinkling them on top. The havarti cheese inside was a nice balance, and a few diced up chive stems. Simple but delicious!

Chive Blossoms on Cream Cheese
I wish I had goat cheese on hand because I think its tartness would be really great with the chive blossoms. But they were good sprinkled on cream-cheesed rye toast too. I always feel like I'm eating something elegant when I have something with edible flowers in it. Considering the time of year they come out, they might be a great idea for tea sandwiches too.