Tag Archives: garlic

Garlic scapes!

If you follow the blog you probably read the post about green garlic.  We also really like garlic scapes, and the great thing about garlic scapes is that they are seasonal and they only come once a year!

Right now we are in garlic scape heaven.  We made garlic scape pesto last weekend & have been putting it on everything this week (eggs, salmon, rice, greens, bread, pizza).

To start with, what is a ‘garlic scape?’  Great question.  The scape is part of the photo (6)plant.  In the photo to the right, the scape is the white part with the little bump in it.  The friendly wikipedia page says that the scape “generally refers to a long internode forming the basal part or the whole of a peduncle. Typically it takes the form of a long, leafless flowering stem rising directly from a bulbrhizome, or similar subterranean or underwater structure.”  In my own words, the scape shoots out from the top of the plant (right around now).  The scape actually contains the seeds of the garlic plant & the flower!  If you do not cut the scape off, the plant would bloom and eventually little baby garlic plants would spread all over the place.  However, if you do cut the scapes off, you get an extra boost of energy going into your garlic bulbs (instead of into the flower)!  Just in case you didn’t know, the garlic bulb grows under the ground at the base of the plant.

photo (5)Enough of that! So, what to do with the scapes? As I mentioned already, we have been cooking them in everything.  The good news is that the scapes keep for a while in the fridge after they have been harvested.

Most of the ways you can use a scape are the same as how you can use the green garlic I wrote about a few weeks ago.  Easiest thing to do: make the scapes into a pesto.  Then put the pesto on everything

There are many pesto recipes out there.  A basic one: use a food processor to blitz some garlic scapes (rinsed), olive oil, & add salt & pepper to taste.  That’s it.  Super simple. We made a nice sized batch (1/2 pint) with about 10 scapes in it.  Then put it in a glass jar and it is now in our fridge.  Have we mentioned we’ve been putting it on everything?

Some great uses of the pesto include sautéing with greens and eggs; pan frying salmon with pesto; or using the pesto on pasta or pizza.  We have cooked with all of these methods in the past few days.

Other ideas for using the scapes.  When I asked on Facebook, I was told that scapes are good in soup stock, grilled, or chopped up mixed with olive oil and used as a dip for bread.

How do you use your garlic scapes?  

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Green Garlic??

This week’s summer market related post is about Green Garlic.

Yes, Green Garlic!
This is not something I have ever seen in a grocery store- but I’m sure it is sold somewhere…

At the farmer’s market this week – look for green garlic!

spring-veg-green-garlic-lg

Ok, so what is this? It looks a bit like scallions or green onions.  Actually it is 100% not that!
Green Garlic – is actually the garlic plant harvested early.

You can actually eat almost all of the plant.  We cut the roots off and then chop the bottom white part up through the beginning of the green leaves and treat it almost like garlic or scallions.  So, we’ll toss it in a stir-fry but we’ll also eat it raw on a salad.  The green leafy parts can be used to add flavor to a stock or soup.

This week we’ve been eating our green garlic in a variety of dishes.  I’ve had it in salad (lettuce, green garlic, cilantro & oil/vinegar) and also in burgers.  When we make burgers we add minced garlic – so, instead of mincing garlic – I just chop up some green garlic & throw it into the burger mix!

The flavor of green garlic, for me, is a very light garlic-y taste.  I find it to be very refreshing – vs a raw garlic taste which can be overpowering!

So, go ask your local farmer for some green garlic!

Braising greens – what is that?

I was excited to see this morning that one of our favorite farmers (Kris & Adriane of River to River Farm in Tunnel Hill, IL) will be bringing brazing greens to the market.  In their blog they specifically mention that they are bringing a “Brazing Mix (A Mixture of 7 different varieties of Kale and Collards).”

So, what is that? What to do with it?

As many of you know, we love cooking.  We actually cook with kale and collards regularly. Here’s what we do with them.  We sauté them.  That’s it.  Sauté.

Typically this means I start by washing the greens, separating the leaves from the stalks, and loosely chopping the greens.  Meanwhile I have some oil heating in a cast iron pan (low-medium heat).  We typically use olive, but have also braised with coconut oil or canola.

To just straight up braise greens – you just toss them in the heated oil.  Let them wilt while you stir them around some.

We rarely just do straight greens.  Usually, we chop up an onion (this is added & sautéd before the greens go in), add garlic, add lemon juice, add chili powder — or a combination of these.

Serving size wise – this really depends on how many people you have & how large your greens are.  It if is just me, I’ll do 2-3 leaves of collards, 4-6 leaves of kale (lacinato is usually smaller than most — red russian is our favorite).  For more people – add more leaves!  When my partner cooks greens she cooks three times as many for just the two of us (and never have leftovers!).  If we get a bunch of kale from the farmers’ market it is usually good for 1-2 meals.

Different varieties of greens: kale (all kinds), collards, chard, dandelion greens, beet greens, spinach, turnip greens… the list goes on!

Before the photos — just some info about greens.  Many greens can be harvested and served year round.  Some varieties can over-winter (kale is sweeter after the first frost).  You can eat them pretty much whenever.  Often the flavor will change when they bolt (or start producing seed) in the spring if you overwintered them.  Greens add fiber, protein, vitamins (especially Vitamin A) and nutrients to your diet.  Here are the nutritional facts about beet greens (yes, boiled, drained, unsalted, but still greens).  For us, they are a pretty important part of my diet.  I like to eat greens at least three times per week (partner would eat them at every meal if she had her druthers).

Here are some photos of what we’ve done:

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Garlic in kale

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Red onion in beet greensImage

Rainbow swiss chard on the cutting boardImageA finished meal – asparagus, dandelion greens, salmon sweet potato cake, and a cannelli bean tuna salad.

So – those are some of our tricks & favorites.  Let us know how you braise greens & any favorite recipes/tricks you do!  Go get your greens!