kitchen diary: june 14
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).