garlic scape pesto

lovely garlic scape pesto

Garlic lovers, this one is for you! While trying to come up with something creative to do with my garlic scapes, I came upon this recipe for a garlic scape pesto dip. This wasn’t exactly what I was after, but the “pesto” got me on the right track and I riffed a little and came up with the following. If you love rich garlic and basil pesto flavor, this dish will definitely satisfy!

Garlic Scape Pesto
serves 4
Pasta or pierogies for four
1 bunch garlic scapes from your local box (or about 8-10 scapes)
20 large basil leaves
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tblspoons butter
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 large tomato or 6 cherry tomatoes (or more if you like- this is what I had on hand)
¾ cup- 1 cup olive oil, as needed
salt to taste

1. Cook your pasta or your pierogies just before you prepare the sauce and have them on hand.

2. Toast your walnut pieces by placing them in a dry frying pan (I prefer non-stick for this) over medium heat and tossing frequently until toasted but not burnt, just a few minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

lovely garlic scape pesto

3. Cut your scapes just enough to get them into your food processor, and process well, until the scapes are minced fine.

lovely garlic scape pesto

4. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, saute the minced garlic scapes in your 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring occasionally, for 5- 10 minutes, until tender and very fragrant.

lovely garlic scape pesto

5. While the scapes are sauteing, place your toasted walnuts, basil leaves, and parmesan cheese in your food processor. Turn it on and while the food is being processed, slowly add your olive oil until you get to the consistency of a thick soup or a runny paste. You may need to stop and check and test as you go along.

lovely garlic scape pesto

6. After the scrapes have been sauteing about five minutes, add your tomatoes, stir in well, and allow them to soften.

7. Add your pasta or pierogies to the scrapes and tomatoes, stirring fully and allowing the pasta to reheat.

lovely garlic scape pesto

8. When pasta is warmed through, spoon all of it, with all of the scrapes and tomatoes, into a very large bowl. Pour the basil/walnut mixture over the past and toss very well, allowing it to completely coat, and making sure the scrapes and the basil mix well. Serve immediately.

lovely garlic scape pesto

My husband, who can be quite particular about pasta sauces and the like, was very pleased with this and pointed out that all of these ingredients together would make a nice base for a tomato sauce as well, which I might try sometime soon. I hope you have a chance to make up this relatively simple, delicious dish and just be sure to have your toothbrush handy for afterward! Enjoy!

-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and organically for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife

photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller

summer shepherd’s pie

lovely shepherd's pie

When you think of a comfort food dish like Shepherd’s Pie, usually you think of it as cold weather fare. But when you have a nice heapin’ helpin of garlic scape mashed potatoes as leftovers and you also have a pound of local, organic ground beef thawed and ready to goin your fridge, the two just cry out in unison, “Shepherd’s Pie, please!” And with all the great early summer veggies out there to throw into the mix, if the day isnt too hot to turn on the oven, how can you resist?

Summer Shepherd’s Pie
serves 4-6
3 cups mashed potatoes
1 lb organic ground beef
2-3 garlic scapes
2 whole green onions
3 mushrooms
2 small carrots, diced into pea-size chunks
1/3 cup peas
tsp butter
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onio powder
½ tsp paprika
2 Tblspn flour
2 Tblspn tomato paste
¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp balsalmic vinegar (optional)
1 cup organic beef broth

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. While the oven is warming, brown your pound of meat over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.

lovely shepherd's pie

3. While meat is browning, put mushrooms, onions, and garlic scapes in your food processor or dice very fine (note: you can also slice your mushrooms thick and enjoy their taste and texture in the meal, but my husband doesnt like mushrooms so I ‘sneak’ them in this way).

lovely shepherd's pie

4. When meat is browned but not overly done, remove from pan and set aside. Return pan to medium heat, melt your tsp of butter and saute your mushroom, onion, and scape mixture until soft and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.

lovely shepherd's pie

5. Add your peas and carrots. Saute, stirring often, for three minutes.

6. Return browned meat to the pan, and add all of the dry seasonings. Stir very well, and cook for three minutes.

7. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar, and stir well. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the contents of the pan and stir very well.

lovely shepherd's pie

8. Add your up of broth, bring contents just to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on low heat. Simmer 15 minutes, allowing the meat to tenderize and the sauce to reduce.

9. While the sauce is reducing, warm your left over mashed potatoes in a large saucepan with just a dash of milk to make them spreadable but not liquidy.

lovely shepherd's pie

10. After 15 minutes, place the meat mixture into a medium casserole dish. Scoop or, if you are really fancy, pipe warmed mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with paprika and melted butter if you wish and bake for 30 minutes.

lovely shepherd's pie

11. Note: I have yet to make the “perfect” shepherd’s pie where the sauce did not bubble up over the mashed potatoes at some point. I find if I put in any less liquid than the amount listed above, the mixture gets dried out and isn’t tender and tasty. But we don’t mind, because it still tastes great!

lovely shepherd's pie

This meal takes a little effort, but it is well-worth it, friends. Serve this with some crusty bread and a side salad, or a dish of fresh, local strawberries from your loft box and you have a fabulous summer meal. Bon Apetite!

-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and organically for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife

photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller

garlic scape mashed potatoes

lovely garlic scape potatoes

This if my first year working with garlic scapes. I have been intimidated by them when I’ve seen them at farmers markets in year’s past, but as I received some in my local box this year I felt challenged to learn how to use these perfectly edible (and as it turns out perfectly delicious!) early summer vegetable. Teamed with some green onion, butter and sour cream, you’ve got the makings of some very tasty mashed potatoes!

Garlic Scape Mashed Potatoes
makes 2-3, easily doubled

10 new red potatoes
3 garlic scrapes
2 large green onions (whites and greens both)
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Scrub, but do not peel, your potatoes. Cover with salted water in a large pot and boil until tender but not mushy.

lovely garlic scape potatoes
lovely garlic scape potatoes

2. While potatoes are boiling, dice fine your garlic scrapes and green onion (in fact, after I made this recipe I wish I had put them in the food processor, but a fine dice works nice, too).

lovely garlic scape potatoes

3. In a medium sauce pan, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat and saute the scrapes and onions until nice and tender, about 10 minutes.

lovely garlic scape potatoes

4. When your scrapes are tender, remove the pan from heat, and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan to allow it to melt.

5. When the potatoes are tender, drain and put them in a large mixing bowl. Pour the scrapes/melted butter combination over the potatoes.

6. Add sour cream, and, using your electric mixer, whip the potatoes well. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste, and mix again.

lovely garlic scape potatoes

I served these with baked chicken and Strawberry Salad on the side- a delicious early summer meal! I hope you have an opportunity to cook with garlic scrapes soon, including this great potato recipe. Enjoy!

-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and organically for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife

photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller