Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Garlic "Escapes" - CSA Week One

This year we decided to join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture.  Essentially, you pay an annual fee upfront to a local farm at the beginning of the growing season which then entitles you to a share of the harvest for the year.  I was so excited to get our first allotment!  The first week we got zucchini, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, and something I was not familiar with - garlic scapes.  Or, as my daughter keeps calling them, garlic escapes.  They are basically the green shoot which forms above ground as a garlic bulb grows underground.  Mine looked like this:

Crazy, right?  I did some googling and found that these babies have the flavor of garlic, but in a much milder form.  I searched through my Google Reader for inspiration, and came across this recipe which looked like it would fit the bill.  I made a few changes for our tastes, and here's my finished product: 

I did add some grilled chicken on top for my husband because he doesn't really do meatless meals, but I thought it was just perfect without.  Overall, I liked the garlic scape, although I need to work on removing all the woody parts.  Some of them were a bit tough.  But the mild garlic flavor was nice.  Good thing we liked it, because word on the street is that garlic scapes will be making more appearances in our CSA shares.  So, I'm on the lookout for recipes using them..  Here's the pasta recipe as I made it...

Pasta with Garlic Scapes
Adapted from Andrea the Kitchen Witch
Makes 2 servings
8 oz spaghetti
4 garlic scapes
1/2 c frozen corn
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan cheese

First, cut garlic scapes into 1/2 inch pieces with kitchen shears.  I thought I got rid of all the tough, woody ends, but I did not. I hope to do better next time!

Boil spaghetti noodles according to instructions on box. While pasta cooks prepare sauce.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and oil, once butter has melted add the garlic scapes. Toss to coat in fat and cook about 1 minute, until the scapes smell fragrant and are barely brown. Add the frozen corn and cook 1 minute longer, garlic scapes will start to brown.  Here's what mine looked like at this point:

Already looking and smelling yummy!

Add the chicken broth and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream, salt & pepper and Parmesan cheese. Stir to melt and incorporate cheese into sauce. Add cooked and drained pasta, toss with sauce and serve.  As I mentioned, I browned up a couple of chicken tenders seasoned with salt and pepper to put over top of my husband's portion.  He enjoyed this as well, and he's not a huge fan of pasta in general.  Can't wait for next week's share!

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