Garlic Scapes GO OUT for Pizza!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

Ingredients:

  • 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
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Frozen Garlic and Onion Puree

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Onions and garlic are rolling out of the fields and into our kitchens, and school is about to start. What do these two ideas have in common? Kids, shortcuts and planning ahead. Here’s the kid part: I am fortunate to have a child who is proud to tell anyone that he likes onions, but I know lots of families with picky eaters who will go through great pains to avoid these foods. My Brazilian aunt couldn’t stand that her daughters wouldn’t eat onions or garlic, so she began to puree them with olive oil. When she cooked, the flavors were there, but no visible remains were to be seen or picked out by the girls. The adults in the family no longer had to suffer through a bland meal and the kids were happy too.

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I’ve made pastes like Thai curry and roasted chile and frozen them successfully before, so I thought I’d see what happens with the onion garlic combo in the freezer. I wasn’t sure what freezing onions and garlic would do to their flavor, so I did a little test run, and I think I’ll be very happy having two containers of this stuff when it comes to whipping up quick soups and other one-pot meals in the fall when I’m busy with teaching. That’s the short-cut and planning ahead part.

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I have an automatic ice-maker and no ice cube trays so instead I use a cake pan to freeze my purees.

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Once the paste is a little frozen, I score it with my pastry blade then pop it back into the freezer to firm up.

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After it freezes a little longer, score it again on the lines. Now the squares can be removed and placed into a freezer container for later use.

Next fall and winter when using the frozen puree, just start with some oil in a hot pan and drop one of the squares in. Once you break it all apart, lower the heat. You’ll want to just let it cook enough to release the flavors, but not burn the garlic.

Frozen Garlic and Onion Puree Recipe

Ingredients:

3 large onions

3 whole heads garlic, peeled

olive oil

Directions:

Peel the garlic, chop the onions and puree them in a blender. You will need to pulse and push the vegetables down. Add only enough oil to make the mixture smooth. Follow the directions above for freezing, or spoon into ice-cube trays. Once the cubes are made, they should be kept in a good airtight freezer container. I’ve used both freezer bags and the new ziplock brand freezer containers. I like the containers better because they can be reused many times.

Note: I have a Breville Blender with a wide bottom base. It works great for jobs like this.