Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Farm Speciality: Garlic Scape Pesto

I am not sure what it was about the garlic scapes that I found so compelling, but I was mesmerized by their stark elegance. (Yes, I know I am talking about a vegetable here!) I also had absolutely no idea what to do with them. Yet they arrived as part of my delivery of beautiful produce and local products from the Farmer's Cart. The owner of the company, Maureen, had included an index card with a photo and an easy recipe for pesto, but when I discovered this version from excellent chef, Dorie Greenspan, I couldn't resist trying out a version with almonds. Dorie includes a clear explanation about the greens, which are simply the overgrown shoots of garlic. She notes that they are mild, but once I created this pesto, I was struck by a subtle scent, but sharp bite. So I turned back to Maureen's recipe and realized the missing link-fresh lemon juice. While the final product was still a bit too intense to eat in large portions, it mellowed as it sat in the refrigerator and was, in many ways, quite good. It was also easy enough to make in minutes as the 15 month old stirred imaginary pot of noodles.

Garlic Scape Pesto, adapted from Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 1 cup

6 garlic scapes, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

1/3 cup almonds

1/2 cup olive oil

juice from 1/2 to whole lemon (to taste)

salt (to taste)

Blend all the ingredients, adding more oil if you want it thinner. Season with salt.

Put it on top of hot pasta or spread on bread for a twist on grilled cheese sandwiches. You can store this, with plastic wrap pressed on top, in the refrigerator or in the freezer.

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