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kitchen diary: june 14

June 16, 2009

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to be honest, garlic scapes have always freaked me out. they’re long and spindly and i don’t have any idea how to cook with them. never one to back down from a challenge, however, i buy them at the market this weekend. my freezer is overflowing with frozen walnuts and so i decide to turn them into a zippy garlic scape pesto using this recipe on saturday afternoon. it really smells wonderful and is full of flavor, but i only taste a bit of it, since i’m meeting friends for drinks + dinner and i don’t want my breath to offend.

on sunday, i use the pesto in two easy ways. for a salad at lunch, i whisk some of it into the dressing with a bit of olive oil and vinegar. it adds some heat and lots of flavor. next time, i think i will use some dijon mustard in there, too.

and for dinner, i put together a pasta salad without a recipe (a very satisfying task during the summer … simply throw in lots of fresh ingredients and enjoy it for a few days to come). this one has conchiglie (pasta shells), with asparagus that is steamed for only a couple of minutes, so as to retain its crunch. i toss the hot pasta and asparagus with salt, pepper, the garlic scape pesto, and a little reserved pasta cooking water. i chuck in herbs from my little garden – oregano, basil and thyme. the secret ingredient that gives this dish some heft and a nutty flavor is chickpeas. i love the idea of pasta and beans, especially for a main event salad like this one.

i have enough pesto left to freeze it for another day. and my pasta lunch this week is pretty incredible (with apologies to my co-workers for the garlic breath).

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2009 7:38 am

    these meals sound so good. we made a garlic scape soup last year but it tasted a little too grassy for my liking. i would be up for trying your pesto, though.

  2. June 16, 2009 7:38 am

    i just had lunch but now i’m hungry again!
    it’s your fault :)
    beautiful pictures, delicious!

  3. June 16, 2009 9:17 am

    I love garlic scapes. When I was growing up we either ate them pickled (in a soy sauce/rice vinegar type brine) or cut up and stir fried with some Korean bbq. Really delicious stuff.

  4. June 16, 2009 11:28 am

    oh yum. these pictures just scream delicious. we’re getting our first csa of the season today and now i know what to do with the garlic scapes…

  5. June 16, 2009 1:52 pm

    Delicious and simple and light. I love these meal ideas, and I love anything with walnuts in it.

  6. June 16, 2009 4:30 pm

    yum! looks delicious. love your sense of adventure;)

  7. June 16, 2009 7:05 pm

    I just saw a pesto recipe with garlic scapes on Dorie Greenspan’s site…sounds intriguing!

  8. actionfigureamy permalink
    June 16, 2009 7:52 pm

    I am in utter online love with you, Mr. Blue! Thank you for all of the food and pictures and music and… I’m devoted. I don’t care about the smell of your breath.

  9. June 17, 2009 5:03 am

    i had no idea what to do with my scapes. sent over here via julie via flickr.
    now i only wish i got more scapes this week in my csa. next time i will know exactly what to do! thanks!!

  10. June 17, 2009 11:15 am

    oh my! brian, that sounds like the most delicious weekend.

  11. eyeprinciple permalink
    June 17, 2009 6:06 pm

    this looks tasty. Might have to try recreating as well…

  12. June 18, 2009 10:43 am

    I love the simplicity of these meals. Looks delicious.

  13. June 18, 2009 3:32 pm

    looks gorgeous, sounds delectable. perhaps you could hand out the recipe as apology for the garlic breath…

  14. June 18, 2009 9:39 pm

    Yes I’d love the recipe too!

  15. June 30, 2009 12:33 pm

    oooh, i want to try that pesto! i hope there are still garlic scapes at the market this weekend. we made a pasta salad last night too. it’s one of my favorite summer meals for sure.

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