Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Garlic Scapes

This is the first year garlic scapes are on my radar. We went to the garden and harvested all of our peas and garlic scapes. Apparently farmers take the scapes of garlic so that the plant can focus energy on the bulbs. Coincidently, there was a post on Serious Eats that featured garlic scape recipes. Tonight we're having the garlic scape pesto with pasta and a garden salad.

Garlic Scape Pesto
-Recipe adapted from Serious Eats

Recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto

- makes about 1 cup -

1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Toast the pine nuts. Most folks toast them on a skillet, but I prefer to put them in our metal bread pan and to throw them in the oven while cook other stuff in the oven for dinner. I'm much less likely to burn them. Let cool after you toast them.

2. Put scapes, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. When the oil is incorporated, transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese.

Do you know the dirty dozen?

-Spring peas from our garden

The Environmental Working Group released a shopping guide of fruits and vegetables that have large amounts of pesticide residue on them. They are known as the Dirty Dozen and those without much residue are known as the Clean 15. The lists are included below. Even if you can't grow all your own, or buy it all at the farmer's market, try to keep these in mind when you purchase produce at the grocery store. I know times are tight for folks on a budget, so if you can focus on eating organic for these foods specifically, they estimate that you'll reduce your exposure to pesticides by 80 percent. So, keep the list in your wallet, iPhone, blackberry, or written on your hand; send it out to family and friends; grow what you can; and buy organic and local when possible!

The Dirty Dozen

Domestic blueberries
Sweet bell peppers
Spinach, kale and collard greens
Imported grapes

The Clean 15

Sweet corn
Sweet peas
Kiwi fruit
Sweet potatoes
Sweet onions