This past Sunday, I went to my favorite farmer’s market of all, the West Reading Farmer’s market. It is an outdoor market featuring locally grown produce plus some goodies like fresh baked muffins for those looking for breakfast. It’s only open on Sundays from May through October. Two things I love about the market are that it is outdoors and that dog’s are allowed.
Sofie, our apricot toy poodle, loves to go there. As soon as my car approaches the parking lot, she starts going crazy with excitement in anticipation of knowing what’s about to happen . Her tail wags madly, she starts whining, and it looks as if she will jump out the window!
Also, I love this market because my favorite greens are sold there. Erica and her farm, B&H Organics, has a stand with lettuce (and vegetables) that is to die for. The complexity and depth of flavor in a mere bag of her greens is unbelievable, plus she places a few edible purple pansie flowers in the bag with the lettuce, which I can’t lie, makes my heart sing and belly smile when I eat a salad made with her phenomenal greens.
This week I was pleasantly surprised to see she had garlic scapes. Since they are only available for such a short period of the year (one month in June), I had forgotten all about them! I have Erica to thank for introducing me to them for the first time last year.
Garlic scapes are the curly green stalks of the garlic plant and snipping off the crazy curlicues, allows the plant to direct more nutrients to the bulb. Garlic scapes are more mild in flavor than mature garlic, which is appealing to me especially when making pesto.
There are many ways to cook with garlic scapes, pretty much anywhere you’d use garlic. They can be chopped and tossed in salads or salad dressings, grilled or roasted with a little olive oil and sea salt, or stuffed in the cavity before roasting a whole chicken. My favorite is to make pesto with them and freeze it so I can enjoy it all year long!
What’s your favorite way to use pesto or favorite pesto recipes? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below
Here’s my recipe for garlic scape pesto:
Garlic scape pesto
1 bunch of garlic scapes
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground pepper
Chop garlic scapes into small pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add walnuts or pine nuts and pulse until evenly chopped. Add basil and pulse until basil is also finely chopped. Grate rind of lemon and place it into bowl of food processor. Juice lemon and add one tablespoon of juice to the garlic scape mixture. Add salt and pepper. Then turn on motor and slowly pour oil into the remaining ingredients, leaving motor running until pesto has consistency you like, adding more liquid if needed. YUM!