Friday, June 11, 2010

Garlic Scape Pesto

M. and I have been members of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) organizations several times in the past.  Now we've left New York City and live in the Hudson Valley, we've joined a local, organic farm.  It's kind of fun going to the actual farm where the produce is grown to pick it up.  And there are nice perks like freezers with grass fed meats for purchase (for M. and the little sprout), delicious whole grain breads for purchase as well as flowers for picking and the farm's herb garden to raid.  And Little Sprout loves to watch the chickens in their chicken coop, which makes a trip to the farm a fun family outing.

We purchased a full share, but are clearly going to have to be on our game to keep up as this week's share was quite substantial.  Two pounds of mesclun - two pounds.  That can be measured by putting a ton of mesclun into the scale, and then when you find yourself cringing at how much mesclun there is realizing you're only at a pound!  Two heads of Napa cabbage, two large bunches of greens, two bunches of spring onions, two bunches of mystery greens, two bunches of baby carrots, two bunches of beets (with greens attached - yum!) and a quarter pound of garlic scapes.  Oh, there were also 2 pints of strawberries as well.  Those we had no problem polishing off.

I had lofty ambitions for the garlic scapes, however time got the best of me. As I switched into "CSA day is coming up - time to empty the fridge" panic last night, I went with the old standby of garlic scape pesto.  Now that we are the proud owners of a chest freezer, I planned on freezing most of it for a treat later in the summer using only what we needed for dinner last night.  I worked off of this recipe from the Washington Post (which was the first one that came up in my google search that sounded appealing) but I did make a few changes. I eyeballed about a half cup of pignolis instead of using the walnuts called for in the recipe due to (my) personal preference.  And I made a batch and a half of the recipe so as to use up all of my scapes. I also discovered myself perilously short on olive oil, and mixed the pesto with a blend of olive oil and pasta cooking water which made for a nice light texture.

The pesto was definitely pungent though - not for the faint of heart (or faint of garlic).  I froze some without cheese, as it freezes better that way.  And I added enough cheese to our dinner portion to make it taste "right" without really measuring.  I served the pasta with a big pile of the sauteed mystery greens, and a mesclun salad.  I'd say we've gotten through a pound of the mesclun so far, only a pound to go!

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.


Stephanie said...

Wow, we haven't seen garlic scapes here yet! I always end up doing some pesto too. A year or two ago I tried a white bean-garlic scape spread that was pretty good.

Kim said...

I have never seen a garlic scape (at least not that I know...)

Helios said...

Kim - that's very sad. We found some in Virginia when visiting friends recently. They were called garlic whistles, if that helps.

Stephanie - white bean and garlic scape spread sounds pretty good. I'll have to remember that.