Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto and Roasted Beet and Orange Salad

A couple of weeks ago, the CSA box had something in it I have never cooked (or even seen) before - Garlic Scapes. These are the shoots that grow up out of the garlic bulb as it tries to become a plant. We eat the garlic bulb, so the farmers cut off the scapes before they flower and leave the bulb to continue to grow. I have read that the scapes have a "delicate" garlic flavor. Our experience was that they pack a serious punch of garlicky power. They are lovely to look at as well.
There are dozens of recipes (maybe hundreds) on the web for garlic scape pesto. I used less oil than called for - a trick I learned from Weight Watchers - I substituted vegetable broth for some of the oil..
1 cup chopped garlic scapes (about 1/2 inch pieces)
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesean Cheese
Pulverize everything in the bowl of a food processor.
It come out a lovely light green color. We did not add basil - but someone told me it is a nice addition.
We had our pesto with spiral pasta (Barilla Plus - for protein)

Our side dish was made from another stand out in the early summer CSA share - beets. I usually roast them whole, but D.has a new cook book, called Fast Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton

Fast, Fresh and Green by Susie Middleton: NOOK Book Cover
She recommended "quick roasting" the beets by slicing them thinly crosswise, tossing them with olive oil, coarsely chopped fresh thyme and a little salt, and roasting them at 475 degrees for 16 to 18 minutes. We did them this way and they were fabulous. We served them on top of some leaf lettuce with chopped navel orange slices and just a little Feta cheese.This should have been topped with a little fresh mint as well - but we got hungry and skipped right to eating.

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