Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recipes: Veggie Soup and Garlic Scape Pesto

This was my first time growing garlic, so I was super excited when the plants took off!  I planted it in November and by spring it was knee-high.  Thank you to my friend Laura Shero who gave me the garlic cloves (saved from her garden), as well as tips on growing them.  

When the scapes started shooting out of the garlic, Laura told me to cut them.  I didn't even know what scapes were, but I did what she told me to.  As I cut these beautiful scapes, I noticed how wonderful they smelled.  I thought it would be a shame to waste them, so I did a little research and found out you can actually eat these amazing things!  I also discovered garlic scapes keep for weeks in your refrigerator.  

This photo doesn't actually show the full size of the scapes.  It's just a handful of the scapes after they had been chopped in half.  

The first batch of scapes I cooked was sauteed with a little bit of mushrooms I purchased from Berglorbeer Farma at our local farmers market.  They have the most delicious varieties of gourmet mushrooms and I can't get enough!  Sauteed garlic scapes & mushrooms are a delight.  
Sorry, we ate them before I could grab a photo.

Next I chopped garlic scapes and added them to a pot of veggie soup.  Here's a recipe for my veggie soup (for those of you who actually use recipes for soup).  Feel free to substitute any veggies you like.

Veggie Soup w/ Garlic Scapes
1 med. onion diced
1 c. chopped garlic scapes
1 c. chopped zucchini
1 c. chopped summer squash 
2 carrots, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 small head of cabbage, finely chopped
1 c. spring peas
2 qts. of broth (veggie or chicken)
salt & pepper to taste
chopped fresh herbs
Saute firmer veggies in a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pot, then add cabbage, peas and broth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 20-30 minuets.  Add chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano and thyme).
So after making the scapes & mushrooms and the soup, I still had a pound of unused scapes left!  Did I mention Laura gave me 48 cloves of garlic to plant?  So today I made garlic scape pesto.  It was super easy and I can't wait to toss it with pasta for dinner tonight.  Here's the recipe:

Garlic Scape Pesto

1/2 pound of garlic scapes
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
juice from one lemon
1 c. shredded (or grated) parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Whiz the scapes and oil in a food processor until the big chunks are gone.  Add lemon juice and parmesan cheese, pulse until you get the consistency you like.  Season to taste.  Serve on pasta, pizza, grilled veggies (tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms)……be creative!

I still have 1/2 pound of scapes to use.  Any suggestions?


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