Hello Rootabaga Subscribers,
Welcome to another exciting week of eating local! This week we’re introducing garlic scapes to Rootabaga. Garlic scapes are the stalks and flower bulbs that shoot up from growing garlic plants. When growing garlic, it’s important to remove the scapes so that the plant puts energy into the bulbs below the ground instead of growing the scape. They have a strong garlic flavour but are less pungent than the bulb. They can be used similarly to garlic, sliced finely and sautéed to impart garlic flavour in many dishes. However, my favourite way by far to eat them is in this week’s recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto. Another exciting addition this week is the first summer squash – zucchini! We have lots of summer staples in the small subscription this week, including:
Garlic Scapes – Pine Grove Farm, spray-free
Zucchini – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Bunched Carrots – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
New Potatoes – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Shell Peas – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Cluster Tomatoes – Stokdijk Greenhouses, conventionally-grown
The large share has everything above, as well as:
2lbs of new potatoes instead of 1½ lbs
½ lb shell peas instead of ¼ lb
Cucumber – Stokdijk Greenhouses, conventionally-grown
Kale – Noggins Corner Farm, spray-free
Making garlic scape pesto is an easy and delicious way to use your fresh scapes. It’s similar to a classic basil pesto, but has a more garlicky punch thanks to the scapes! Simply add a nut or seed, lemon, olive oil, and parmesan cheese if desired and you have a delicious condiment for spaghetti, sandwiches, pizza sauce, or to stir into soups or marinades. Pesto also freezes well in jars, or for smaller portions, in ice cube trays (once frozen, remove and store the cubes in a sealed bag). Like all pesto, this recipe can be modified to suit your ingredients and taste preferences. Basil is always good, but I’ve found a bit of fresh mint or cilantro is delicious in pesto as well. If using fresh herbs, add them right before the olive oil, but after the main ingredients are well broken down, as overprocessing herbs can make them bitter.
- 1 cup chopped garlic scapes
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup olive oil
- Place the scapes, seeds, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Blend until the ingredients are well broken down.
- While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Once incorporated, stop blending and taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
I can’t get enough of garlic scape pesto and as the growing season is so short I always freeze extra to enjoy throughout the year. Since freezing cheese often changes the texture, I tend to keep mine dairy-free and I’ll add cheese to the meal if fitting during cooking. Scapes are one of those ingredients people sometimes have trouble using a large quantity of, but once you’ve tried garlic scape pesto you’ll eagerly anticipate scape season every year!
I can’t wait to welcome zucchini to our produce rotation! They’re one of my favourite vegetables, roast them, sauté them, grill them, stuff them, or make chocolate zucchini muffins. As the whole vegetable is edible they’re a perfect no-fuss addition to many meals. And they last well in the fridge too. They’re happiest covered, so to increase their lifespan I recommend storing them in a plastic bag or container in the fridge.
Thank you for joining us for another fun edition of our Rootabaga produce subscription! We can’t wait to bring you more seasonal goodness next week.
See you then,