Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Garlic scape pesto

We are just back from visiting a friend in London, and I wanted to bring her something unique as a hostess gift. So right before we left, I headed out to the garden, and harvested all the garlic scapes that were there. They are funny spiral things, so I had to cut them up a bit to fit in the plastic bag, with a damp kitchen towel. I also packed a little pot of gooseberry jam, that had been flavoured with elderflower, made by my mother, which I was really looking forward to trying. Both items went in my carry on bag.

Surprisingly (or maybe not) the security scanner detected both, and they confiscated the jam! I was almost in tears. So let that be a lesson to all - put any jams in your checked bags - they qualify as a liquid. The scapes however, could in no way be construed as a danger to passengers, so they made it through.

On arrival we made up a pesto with the scapes, some parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper. It was green and fragrant, and wonderful on bread, in a yoghurt salad dressing, with Tuna salad - definitely a success, and pretty unique. We didn't try it with pasta, but I'll bet it would be good with that too. Or on new potatoes. I didn't measure - worked to taste - there are lots of recipes online. Maybe I'll make a recipe next year...

The stalk works better than the flower part - the flower is inclined to be stringy - and when harvesting, you should cut as close to the ground as possible. I have made some more of the pesto now that I'm home, and am freezing it in an ice cube tray so as to have small portions. Not sure how long it will last, though :-)

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