Tuesday, July 3, 2012
At this time of year it is so much fun to anticipate and enjoy the foods
that come into season. Nothing tastes as good as fresh produce that are at their peak. Not only does it taste good, and have high nutritional value
to eat what is in season, but there are many other reasons to support this
action. When we eat what is in season, in our own back yards, it reduces
the energy needed to transport food. It supports the local economy and
eating seasonally connects with the earth's natural rhythm. And seasonal
food is fresher and tends to be more tastier and nutritious. My husband is
a garlic farmer and grows over 1,000 bulbs every year. Each year at the end of June, little curly shoots (garlic scapes) come sprouting out of the top
of our garlic. Garlic scapes are the flowers of the garlic plant, which
grow as a curly whimsical stalk and are absolutely beautiful. The garlic
scapes are really a gardeners' secret - they need to be removed early from
the plants in order for the plant to concentrate its energy on growing the
bulb and not the flowers and as an added benefit you can cook it and it
tastes absolutely delicious! As far as health benefits go, garlic scapes
have many of the same super health - promoting properties that garlic cloves contain. They contain: manganese, which keeps your bones strong and healthy and protect cells from free radical damage; vitamin B6 to support your nervous system; vitamin C to boost your immune system and improve iron absorption; and selenium to reduce joint inflammation. Scapes have a texture somewhere between a green bean and an asparagus stalk, with a beautiful mild garlic flavour when cooked. They can be eaten raw in pesto, or sautéed for the top of meat or pasta. Scape pesto also makes a great sauce for the base of a pizza!
The season for garlic scapes is really short, they are ready now and some
are already done. If you are looking for fresh scapes a great place to
check out is the the farmer's market in Carnarvon! Here is a yummy scape recipe that our family loves.
Roasted Garlic Scapes and Sundried Tomato Spread
1/2 pound garlic scapes
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/4 cup sundried tomatos, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
1-8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss scopes with grape seed oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the
oven for about 30 minutes until they begin to carmelize.
3. Place roasted scapes, sundried tomatoes, feta, walnuts and red pepper
flakes into a food processor. Pulse until combined but not pureed. Fold
into softened cream cheese. A little water or plain yogurt can be used to
thin if needed.
4. Serve with crackers, crostini or your favorite vegetable crudite.