It seems ubiquitous that when one has copious quantities of garlic scapes – or even ten – that they be turned into pesto! I’m just never sure what to do with so much of the stuff, but today, pizza seemed to be a great idea. It’s the Fourth of July Weekend, not too hot and the perfect time to practice my pizza making skills! The great thing about making pizza is to leave the toppings out and have everybody make their own. This allows for a long relaxing meal on the deck because we can only do one pizza at a time. They each take about 8 minutes in a 500 degree oven, so just enough time for salad and conversations with guests as some are in the kitchen and others on the deck. It’s my secret weapon for really making entertaining relaxed!
Some of you are probably wondering why I am doing the pizzas in the oven. Well, we sold our property where we built our last pizza oven and have yet to make our wood-burner at the farm. That project is in queue!
Last year I left a few onion sets in the ground over winter to go to seed this year. We have these very architectural beauties decorating the garden beds, and the seed heads, like garlic scapes, carry the flavor of their parent plant. Onion flowers have a mild onion flavor that is great on salads, pizza or enchiladas. Here you can see the little white flowers along with a few of the green onions chopped up and tossed on top of the pie.
This is the same crust recipe that I have used in the past, however I was out of the sprouted wheat, so used only white flour. This crust was good, but didn’t have the chewy texture I get with the sprouted variety. I am no expert, but flour really makes a difference to a good pizza dough. In five years of making dough, I don’t think the dough was ever the same twice. There is something about humidity and water flour ratio that can really have an impact. The most important thing to remember with this cold fermentation dough is to leave it just a tad bit stickier than bread dough. Here’s the recipe with the sprouted wheat.
As for the pesto, garlic scapes make it simple. No peeling garlic needed. You just toss a bunch of the scapes in a food processor with all of your other pesto ingredients and voila! This spread can not only add flavor to pizza, but is a great sandwich spread or veggie dip. Enjoy!
- 10-12 garlic scapes
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 cup almonds, walnuts or pine nuts
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil to bring together
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
Garlic scapes are the delightful necessity of the garlic plant. In order to transfer energy to storage in the bulb, we humans stop the reproductive process of the plant. The garlic is making seed in the scapes, and if we steal these delicacies, we also benefit from a generous garlic bulb. I only know this because I am the dwarf in the garden, “standing the shoulders of giants!” Some smart grower discovered this manipulation of nature, and now we all benefit! After cutting the scapes, growers let the garlic bulbs bulk up for about two weeks before digging. Once the garlic is out of the garden, I will hang it to cure in the barn for a few weeks, sort by size to keep the biggest for next year’s crop, and begin to the cloves it into my other summer favorite garlic recipe: Chimichurri!
Most people who try garlic scapes love them. In terms of texture, they are a solid juicy vegetable that even veggie haters can enjoy. And, yes, they taste like garlic, only more mild in flavor. There is no prick of heat that raw garlic bulbs give off. These can be munched raw, roasted or turned into any variety of pesto or salad dressing without any intense garlic off-putting. It’s unlikely that garlic scapes will function as well as garlic bulbs for a vampire deterrent.
Since our garden is not only giving generous quantities of garlic scapes but lettuce and mint as well, I decided salad dressing would be the next scape recipe. As you all know by now, I am the jazz musician in the kitchen riffing on this, mixing in a little Doo Wah Diddy and throwing in a little Ella Scat for my final notes. In other words, I will give you the approximations for ingredients and then expect you to build your own composition. The key to salad dressing is the balance between acidity, salt, sweet and oil. You want it to zip and glide to give a full-mouth pleasurable sense. Jazz it up until that is achieved!
- 6 garlic scapes
- 2 large handfuls fresh spearmint leaves – (Idea: add other herbs like dill, fennel, arugula, basil, oregano)
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup white balsamic (or any white wine or champagne) vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Use a blender. Put all of these ingredients into the blender and zing on high until the dressing begins to look creamy. Taste. Adjust. Enjoy.
I have found that the CSA veggies this time of year lend themselves well to stir-fries and sautes. The fresh greens can be sauteed with garlic and rolled into an omelet, they can be sauced with ginger, garlic and lemon and thrown in with pasta, or simmered with a lovely coconut curry to top a bowl of rice. Today’s rendition landed on toast triangles as a late summer afternoon appetizer.
Leftover prepped veggies from a batch of Farm Fresh Spring Rolls made earlier in the week made this snack super easy to prepare, and the garlic scapes and spring onions gave it lots of flavor. To really give it a flavor boost, we served the appetizers topped with my neighbor’s (and CSA sharer) scape pesto. I asked her for the recipe to print here, and her lovely handwriting along with a returned plate and a few fresh strawberries made the most beautiful still life. Enjoy!
Garlic Scape Saute on Toast
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- garlic scapes, sliced long and thin
- green onions, cut into thin, long sections
- kohlrabi, julienned
- Swiss chard, sliced into long ribbons
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large saute pan on high heat. Add the veggies and saute until they are wilted and beginning to brown. Add salt and pepper.
Serve on triangle toast with crusts removed and top with a dab of pesto.
I’ve never really been a huge fan of creamy potato salad as I’m not too fond of mayonnaise, but I’m crazy about Greek Gods Traditional Yogurt, and it is finding its way into much of my cooking lately. This yogurt works well in place of sour cream with a livelier flavor and a denser texture. We love a little dollop on top of burritos, in a bowl of soup, or just plain off the spoon! It’s also been on sale at the co-op for the last couple of weeks, so has become a new staple in our household. With garlic and fresh herbs, this potato salad dressing also makes a great dip for crudites. My Foxtail Farm CSA provided broccoli, garlic scapes and herbs to the dish.
- 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 4 garlic scapes, thinly sliced into rounds
- 4 sweet pickles, minced
- 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, pressed (use only the part that comes out of the garlic press holes, and toss the fibrous part)
- 1 handful fresh herbs, slivered (I used basil, chervil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme)
- 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Dice potatoes and rinse them in cold water to remove excess starch. Boil in salted water until just tender and drain in a colander. Run cold water over them to stop the cooking.
Steam the chopped broccoli until just tender – about two minutes. Mix all vegetables together in a large serving bowl and refrigerate until cool.
To prepare the yogurt dressing simply mix all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. When the potatoes and broccoli have cooled, gently mix the dressing into the potato mixture.