Posts Tagged ‘Garlic Scapes’

CSA2 Week #4

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 by virginia

We were in Grand Cayman last Wednesday for the wedding of our friends Sean and Claire (more on that soon!) so we missed out on last week’s CSA share. No worries, the veggies didn’t go to waste as our Aussie friends L & R took our share for the week. I hope they enjoyed everything!

According to the report we got from the farm this week, the heat has caused a lot of the veggies to ripen quickly, meaning that they had to be harvested sooner than expected. While that translated into a large share for us this week, it may also mean that shares later on in the season will be smaller. I just feel bad for the farm workers who have to be in the heat all day, and we definitely appreciate their efforts.

This week our share contents included:

Garlic Scapes  – .25 lbs
Cucumbers – 1.1 lbs
Red Kale – .25 lbs
Swiss Chard – .65 lbs
Dandelion – .25 lbs
Turnips – .5 lbs
Fava Beans – 1 lb
Lettuce – 1 each
Squash – 2.3 lbs
Beans – .5 lbs

Kale, squash, fava beans, turnips, lettuce, pole beans, cucumbers, dandelion, swiss chard, garlic scapes

I was happy to see that we were getting both kale and swiss chard this week, so that I wouldn’t have to choose between the two again. Sadly, we only got 1/4 pound of the kale, which isn’t very much once you account for the inedible thick stems. Hmm.. Josh is currently out of town on business.. maybe I can make kale chips for one? Just kidding – he’d be upset with me if I did that!

I was glad that we got a lot of fava beans – I’m still trying to decide if we should make more Egyptian falafel with them, or if we should try something new. I’m also not sure how to prepare the turnips, dandelions, or the pole beans. Usually we just roast the turnips, but I’d be interested in doing something different. The pole beans we typically just saute with garlic and olive oil. The dandelion greens are tough to prepare because they can be extremely bitter. I’ll need to do some recipe research!

We didn’t get enough cucumbers for me to make pickles, so I think we’ll just eat them fresh with the lettuce. Josh made a great curry vinaigrette yesterday for the red leaf lettuce we got two weeks ago (yes, it was still good!) using a recipe by Thomas Keller. He forgot to half the recipe so we still have lots of dressing left, which I think will go nicely with the young head of romaine we got this week.

The squash will either go into a ratatouille or a pureed squash soup. Both are some of my favorite recipes, and I’m glad that we always get a lot of squash each week. As for the garlic scapes, we have quite a stock pile right now. I tweaked a garlic scape pesto recipe that I liked a lot better than my first attempt at scape pesto, so I’ll need to write a post about that.

I definitely have a lot of catching up to do, post wise. I’ve got so much to write about and not enough time. I’m happy to report though that we’ve been sticking to our workout regiment. Having the CSA share has only made it easier for us to eat more healthfully, and more importantly, everything is fresh and delicious. I may finally be starting to see some results from all of our hard work!!

CSA2 Week #2

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 by virginia

It’s Wednesday again so you know what that means – CSA day! We were back at our normal pickup location this week so I ran there after work to get our veggies before heading back out for a softball game. We got a wide variety of items in this share, and so far the crops have been looking great. This week our share contents included:

Garlic scapes – 0.4 lb
Lettuce – 1 head
Broccoli rabe – 0.5 lb
Fava beans – 0.5 lb
Greens – 1 lb
Mint – 2 oz
Cucumbers – 0.65 lb
Squash – 0.9 lb

Broccoli rabe, mint, garlic scapes, lettuce, fava beans, ruby chard, squash and cucumbers in front

Josh and I were both super excited to see broccoli rabe on the list. It’s something that we’ve never gotten before from the CSA, and we know exactly what we want to do with it. A few months ago we were at Becco, my favorite restaurant, and ordered a special appetizer of the day. It was burrata served on top of braised broccoli rabe and grilled bread, lightly dressed with olive oil and salt. The combination was heavenly. The burrata was rich and creamy and just melted across the broccoli rabe. The bread added a nice crunch, and it was a wonderful dish that we hope to replicate at home.

We were also happy to see fava beans, though we probably don’t have enough to make a batch of Egyptian style falafel. I’m sure we’ll figure out another good use for the beans though. Same with the cucumbers and squash – we didn’t get a whole lot of those but we can probably just prepare them simply and enjoy the freshness of the vegetables.

This week we didn’t have much choice for the greens, as all the boxes had swiss chard in them. There were a few different colors available but I stuck with the gorgeous ruby chard, since those looked the nicest. Josh and I made a delicious spaghetti carbonara with the ruby chard from last week’s share, which I plan on posting about. We also got another head of lettuce, red leaf this time, and more garlic scapes.

As for the mint, mojitos anyone?

CSA2 Week #1

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by virginia

I’m happy to announce that it’s CSA time again!! Josh and I have been eagerly looking forward to the start of the CSA season, and we can’t wait to dive into all of our fresh veggies. For those of you who would like to learn more about CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), please read here. Basically we have purchased a share in a farm for the summer,  which means that we will start getting weekly vegetable deliveries for the next 22 or so weeks.

After much debate, we decided not to get the fruit share this year. While we loved all the fresh fruit and juices last year, we simply couldn’t keep up with the amount that we received. Sadly, lot of fruit ended up going to waste, and we really didn’t want to see that happen again this year. We thought about getting a bi-weekly fruit share instead, but even then I doubt we would have been able to consume it all.

There was a bit of a snafu with our usual CSA pickup location, but fortunately the organizers were able to find an alternate location that was extremely convenient. I picked up our share before heading to the gym, as Josh is away on a business trip. The earlier weeks of the share are usually smaller harvests, but I was happy with both the amount of the quality of the items we got. For our first share of this season, we received:

Lettuce – 1 head
Greens – 1 lb
Radishes (mixed colors) – 5 each
Garlic – 2 each
Garlic scapes – 8 each
Spring onions – 4 each
Beets – 3 each

Swiss chard, beets, lettuce, radishes, garlic, onions, garlic scapes in the middle

For the greens, we had a choice of kale or swiss chard. I know Josh was looking forward to making kale chips, one of our favorite CSA recipes, but the ruby stalks on the chard just looked too inviting for me to pass up. Plus I figured that we got a lot of kale last year, and only a few weeks of chard, so I wanted to take advantage of the shorter swiss chard season. For the lettuce, we had a choice between green leaf and red leaf, and I opted for the larger green variety.

The beets are a bit small but came with the leafy tops intact, so we’ll be sure to use both parts. The radishes came in an assortment of colors so I tried to get a different variety. They also had nice leafy tops that we either saute briefly or chop up and mix in with our salads.

Both the onions and the garlic came with green stalks, which I’m sure we’ll find use for. I was happy to see that we got so many garlic scapes, as I’m still experimenting with scape pesto. We also made a delicious garlic scape dip last year with white beans that I never posted about, so I’ll have to be sure to rectify that this year.

All in all it looks our CSA is off to a great start this season. We are excited to see what the harvest will bring over the next few months!

CSA Week #3

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 by virginia

Yet another week has gone by and you know what that means: CSA! We’ve got veggies bursting out of our fridge but we still can’t get over how great they are. Farm fresh really does make a huge difference. Our share this week included:

Lettuce  – 1 large head
Garlic – 3 bulbs
Garlic scapes – 5 stalks
Radishes – 4
Onions – 4
Greens – 3/4 lb

We had a choice between romaine lettuce and red leaf lettuce so we chose the romaine, because we still had red leaf left over from last week. We also had a choice between ruby chard and kale for the greens, and we went with the kale because we had chard last week.

From left to right: onions, radishes, garlic, romaine, kale, garlic scapes

In even more exciting news, our fruit share started this week!! The email that we received regarding the contents was a bit confusing, and so we thought we were getting three pints of juice. Not exactly fruit, but we figured it was because it’s still early in the season. Turns out that we got three pints of cherries, plus a juice. There were several juices to choose from and we opted for rhubarb apple, since it seemed to be the most unusual option.

Cherries – 3 pints
Juice – one bottle

Cherries and rhubarb apple juice

The cherries are slightly tart but have a great firm, juicy texture. They’re good for snacking on their own, but I’m hoping to bake with some as well, since three pints is quite a lot of fruit.

Oodles of cherries

We’re still trying to cook more each week, and we’re getting much better about it. More recipes to come!

CSA Week #2

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 by virginia

It’s CSA time again! Can you believe that a week has already gone by? Josh picked up our second CSA share bounty and it was even bigger than the first week! For week #2, our share contents included:

Lettuce – 1 large head
Bok choy – 2 heads
Garlic – 1/4 lb
Garlic scapes – .2 lbs
Radishes – .45 lbs
Onions – .45 lbs
Greens large – .5 lb
Arugula – .2 lbs

The large greens this week had beautiful red stalks – anyone know exactly what kind of vegetable this is?

From left to right: Garlic, large greens, bok choy, radishes, red leaf lettuce, arugula, garlic scapes, onions

We are already starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with vegetables, and it’s only week #2! We still have some mint, bok choy, radishes, and greens left over from last week, and our schedules haven’t let us cook as much as we would like. But we’re making some progress, and we’re definitely enjoying every bit of our fresh veggies. More recipes to come soon!

Garlic Scape Pesto

Friday, June 11th, 2010 by virginia

Garlic scapes

As I mentioned in my previous post, our bounty from week #1 of our CSA share included four garlic scapes. What are garlic scapes? Basically, they’re what grows out of a garlic bulb when you leave the bulbs unused for too long. Who knew those green plants sprouting out were edible? Not us!

Our CSA posts recipes for various vegetables, and I saw one for garlic scape pesto. I love pesto sauce so that seemed like the best use of the scapes. We didn’t have all the right ingredients on hand though but it wasn’t too hard to find a recipe that worked for us. I did a quick internet search and found this recipe from Dorie Greenspan. Dorie’s recipe required 10 scapes though, so I sent Josh to the 57th St. Greenmarket to pick up an extra bunch of scapes. I ended up with 9 in total and I figured, close enough!

This is what Dorie’s recipe calls for:

-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

To prepare the scapes, I washed them and cut off the top flower bud part, then chopped the rest of the stalks into little pieces. It doesn’t have to be even since it’s all going into the food processor anyway.

We only had whole almonds on hand, which I toasted, and I tossed everything into the food processor for a whirl.

When I tasted the pesto though, it was sharper than I expected it to be. It definitely packed a garlicky punch, but was also slightly spicy. The Greenmarket scapes were significantly larger than the CSA scapes, so perhaps the older and bigger the scape is, the stronger/sharper it gets in flavor? I ended up tossing in twice the amount of parmesan cheese and twice the amount of olive oil to try to mellow out the flavor more.

The extra cheese and oil did help, and the pesto came out as a thick, creamy paste. I tossed it with some whole wheat rotini pasta and some diced cooked chicken. The pesto was a bit too thick, so I added some pasta water to help loosen it up a bit. It’s a neat little trick I learned from watching Lidia’s Italy.  Make sure to season the dish with salt and pepper to taste.

Lastly, I topped the pasta with even more grated parmesan. There’s never such a thing as too much parmesan!

Overall we both liked the garlic scape pesto but I found the flavor to be a bit too nutty. I would reduce the amount of almonds next time, but that might just be a personal taste. Josh thought the garlic flavor was slightly too sharp, so another alternative would be to sautee the scapes for a bit to mellow them out. But making pesto is super easy, and we had a delicious and healthful meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. The scape pesto worked brilliantly with a nice cold bottle of pinot grigio, and Josh and I were both pretty happy campers.

CSA Week #1

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 by virginia

Josh and I decided to join a CSA this year after reading about CSA shares on other blogs. What is a CSA? It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Read here for a good description of what a CSA is, but basically you buy a share of a farm for a season and your share translates into weekly vegetable deliveries. In addition to the vegetable share, we got a fruit share as well, though the fruit deliveries don’t start until later in the season.

The vegetable shares were supposed to start next week, but due to the freakishly hot weather recently, some of the crops have ripened sooner, so today was our first delivery. The pick up location is near our apartment, so Josh headed there straight after work, as we were both eager to see what we got. The core group of our CSA sends out the list of share contents the day of delivery, but seeing it on paper is different from seeing the bounty before your eyes.

So for Week #1, our share contents included:

Garlic Scapes – .16 lbs (or 4 scapes)
Lettuce – 2 heads
Pac Choi (bok choy) – 2 heads
Radish – .5 lbs (or 6 radishes)
Mint – .3 lbs
Greens – .75 lbs

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but believe me, we have enough vegetables to last us the week.

From left to right: Bok choy, greens, mint, lettuce, radishes, and garlic scapes in the middle

And considering that this is early in the season, I can’t even imagine what our contents will be like during the heart of the summer! I’m thrilled to bits that we decided to join a CSA, and I really hope that means we will be cooking more from here on out. We’ve already made a pesto sauce from the garlic scapes, which I’ll be posting about soon. Hopefully this will become a weekly feature from us every Wednesday when we pick up our share!