15 - 2010

More great veggie tips & recipes

As I’ve mentioned before, we belong to a great CSA (community-supported agriculture) farm here in Colorado. With our weekly newsletter, Grant Family Farms sends out recipes and info, and this year, they generously said I can share the info with you!

This week we’ve got tips on freezing herbs, ways to use the garlic scape (what’s that? read on!) and a yummy-sounding dish that uses the whole beet, greens and all.

Freezing Herbs

Here is an easy way to freeze cilantro, parsley, and basil …. Just wash the herbs and run them through a salad spinner, roll it in paper towels like a jelly roll and put it in plastic bags.  Later you can unroll the paper towels and use it just like fresh.  Enjoy!!

The Garlic Scape

The garlic plant has more than one usable portion. While many people are aware of the many uses for the garlic bulbs, not as many persons are aware that the stalk of the garlic plant is also edible. Often referred to as the garlic scape, the stalk also contains flavor and can be used in a number of different recipes. Here is more information on the garlic scape, including when to harvest the stalk for use in preparing meals.

The garlic scape serves as the stem from which the seed head of the garlic bulb is formed. As the bulb begins to grow and mature, garlic stalks also begin to lengthen. During the growth period, the garlic scape begins to curve. Contained within the garlic scape is a great deal of flavor, although the stalk never does reach the level of the pungent garlic bulb itself. Initially, the garlic scape is relatively tender, making it ideal for use as an ingredient in several dishes. As the plant continues to mature, the garlic scape gradually begins to straighten, creating more support for the bulb. At this juncture, the garlic scape is much tougher and ceases to be usable for most recipes.
It is not unusual for the garlic scape to be harvested while it is still young and tender. Chopped into short sections, the garlic scape is a tasty addition to just about any type of stir-fry. The flavor of the garlic scape adds a mild aroma as well as taste to the stir-fry, easily integrating with the other ingredients. The texture of the small sections of the garlic scape also can help to make the stir fry recipe a little more appealing as well.
The garlic scape also has a place in many different pesto recipes. Used to complement the addition of onions to the pesto, garlic scape provides just enough of a hint of the garlic flavor to be pleasing in the recipe. As with the stir-fry, garlic scape can also add another layer of texture to the pesto.
Anyone who wishes to add the taste of garlic to a recipe that calls for onions will find that using garlic scape will provide enough of a bite to fulfill the purpose of the onion, as well as give the recipe an added dash of aroma and flavor. For instance, the garlic scape works well with just about any tomato-based soup, as well as giving new life to old favorites such as chicken soup. Many ethnic based restaurants that offer some type of egg drop soup may also include a small amount of garlic scape in the recipe, along with chives and other greens.

Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto

Makes about 1 cup
10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you’d like)
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt
Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle).  Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese.  If you like the texture, stop; if you’d like it a little thinner, add some more oil.  Season with salt.

If you’re not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by which time tomatoes should be at their juiciest.

Two-Way Street Beets

1-2 bunches of beets
juice of 1 orange
1 tbs butter, softened
1 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp hot chili oil
1-2 tbs soy sauce

Cut beets off stems. Gently scrub beets. Wash the greens. Cut stems into 3″ pieces and coarsely chop the greens; set aside stems and greens in separate piles. Steam beets until tender, 20-30 minutes. Cool briefly, slip off skins, and cut into wedges. Toss with orange juice, butter, and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat a heavy skillet over medium flame. Add oils. Add stems; sauté 2-3 minutes. Add greens; cook tossing often, until limp. Toss in soy sauce and pepper to taste. Arrange beets over greens on platter.

Makes 6 servings

Thanks to …

Grant Farms

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