Friday, July 2, 2010

Garlic Scapes and Pasta, Two Ways

I can't quite believe that it's July.

Could it be the fact that my tomato plants are still just six inches high? Is it that I'm wearing sweaters and gloves in my office? Or is it the garlic scapes in the CSA box?

Usually associated with the very beginning of the growing season and the early farmers' markets, garlic scapes are the long curly shoots of the garlic plant.

Jack improvised two delicious recipe-less pasta sauces with our bunch. (They may be impossible to replicate, in which case I'm just telling you about them to brag.)

For the first, he simmered half the garlic scapes, finely chopped, in olive oil. Then he added white beans, coarsely smushing them with a wooden spoon. Then he added milk, butter, and cream (probably at least one of those is redundant) and salt until delicious. YUM.

The second was supposed to be a pesto. It started with LOTS of toasted walnuts. Run through the food processor with half our bunch of garlic scapes and a handful of basil, they became ... very green, very garlicky walnut butter.

(To try to tip the vegetable:nut ratio, I blended in a handful of frozen peas and a few tablespoons of water while Jack was occupied with sauce #1. You could do this in a more surreptitious manner if you defrosted the peas first.)

We skipped most of the olive oil of a more usual pesto, since there was plenty of nut oil in the mixture, but we did blend in lots of Parmesan, salt, and pepper. The result was surprisingly pesto-like. (For traditionalists, here are a couple more standard garlic scape pestos.)

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