Yesterday I cooked the first dish of the season for our CSA share from Eighth Day Farm. I'm acting as "chef" for the season, whipping up dishes for members to try, using the veggies they're receiving each particular week. We're hoping this will help people learn what to do with unfamiliar vegetables, and give them some fresh ideas when they get zucchini for the sixth week in a row. :)
The season has started out a bit light, due to heavy rains rotting out a lot of their crops. I feel so bad for these poor farmers who are having a rough start to the season. But it makes me grateful for Community Supported Agriculture; by paying at the beginning of the season, members are supporting the farmers in good times and in bad. You might think, "Whoa, that's risky!" And, it is. It helps when you know and trust your farmer. I know they are working hard and doing their best, and I want to help them make it. Because in this world of industrial farming and depleted soil, we need farmers who are doing what they are doing!
So, despite a table holding only a basket of garlic scapes, I wanted Eighth Day's members to be able to cook something delicious this week.
Hold up, Garlic WHAT?
Garlic Scapes! They are amazing! These fellers shoot out from the garlic plant during the spring and form a gorgeous curlicue. If you harvest them, they help the garlic grow better. They taste like garlic (big surprise) but a bit milder. You can chop them up and use them as you would garlic, in any recipe. Here is a recipe that showcases their delicious pungency without being overpowering. It's very tasty with homemade crackers, which I'll post a recipe for another time.
Notes: Quantities are totally up to you. Taste as you go, and you will have success! Using three or four garlic scapes yields a comfortably strong garlic taste (in my opinion) on the day you make it, and it gets more garlicky over time. If you're not sure you like a strong garlic taste, use one or two.
White Bean Dip with Garlic Scapes
3-4 Garlic Scapes (or a couple cloves of garlic), roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste, start with 1/2 t. salt and a several grinds of pepper
2 cups cooked white beans (great northern or cannellini)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to achieve desired consistency)
In your food processor, combine chopped garlic scapes, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Process until scapes are finely chopped. Add beans and process to combine. Add a few tablespoons of water if it seems dry, and then add enough olive oil to achieve a dip-like consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lemon juice, salt, or pepper to taste. Serve with crackers or veggies for dipping.
Have you ever cooked with garlic scapes? What did you think?
This is part of Real Food Wednesday. Check it out for great real food recipes and ideas!