Sunday, March 30, 2014

Scape Pesto (Waiting on Spring)

After what seems like an endless winter, we seem to have FINALLY entered a warming trend in northern Vermont.  It's still dreary, but at least the rain continues to melt away the snow.  Last summer my husband and I joined a CSA (through the wonderful farm Pete's Greens in Craftsbury) and since they're a four-season farm, they offer three different CSA seasons: Fall/Winter, Spring, and Summer.  We've been in the spring share for a month now, but it still feels like winter - cabbage, root vegetables like rutabagas, carrots, and potatoes, and shoots mixtures containing the babiest of greens have been on rotation for the past few weeks.

I'm dreaming of the crops we'll start to receive soon - baby lettuces, pac choi, baby radishes and the like.  But most of all (and I have reason to believe I'll see these late in the season) I'm ready for garlic scapes.  These curvy little gems are the the flower stalks that shoot up from garlic bulbs.  To me, they're like garlic's equivalent to scallions, but heartier.  They can be sauteed as a dish on their own, or used as a substitute for - or in addition to - garlic cloves.  One of my favorite ways to use them is in a scape pesto, which I'll use as a topping for chicken or fish, or stirred into pasta.

Garlic Scape Pesto
Makes about 1 cup pesto
Click here for printable recipe

8-10 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1/4 c. shelled salted pistachios
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, combine the scapes, pistachios, Parmesan, and a hefty grind (1/4 - 1/2 t.) freshly ground pepper until finely chopped. Slowly add the oil through the lid opening of the processor with the motor running; process until combined. Season the pesto with additional salt and pepper to taste.

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