This is not a food blog. And I am definitely not a chef. That being said, if we are going to talk about life in the Maritimes, food has to be part of the conversation. Because we all love food and each region has a unique take on it.
I love this time of year. Fresh local produce is starting to roll out in grocery stores and farmers markets. I’ve been gorging on strawberries while I can get them fresh because there is really nothing better.
In previous growing seasons, my husband and I have signed up for a local produce pack. It includes locally grown fruit and veggies that you pick up at a designated location once a week. One of the best things about getting the produce pack was that it introduced us to several items that we had never cooked with before (mizuna? tatsoi? daikon radish? – I had no idea what these things were). It was like an adventure every week, to see what would show up and figure out how we would use it.
One of those lesser-known items was garlic scapes. Those twisty, curly, pointy green shoots that come off the hard neck varieties of garlic commonly grown in these parts. At first I had no idea what to do with them. I mean, they looked cool and all, but how do you actually eat them? Then I found a recipe for garlic scape pesto. And I was sold.
Here’s my recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto, modified from an Epicurious recipe:
Garlic Scape Pesto
10 large garlic scapes
6-8 large basil leaves
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor and puree until very finely chopped.
With the motor running, slowly pour olive oil into the opening until a paste-like consistency develops.
And that’s it, you’re done! The pesto will keep in the fridge for a week or you can freeze it for up to a month.
I like to spread the pesto on bread or crackers but my favorite way to eat it is to cook spaghetti and save some of the pasta water, whisk it together with a bit of the pesto and toss with the pasta. Delicious!
What are some of your favorite ways of using fresh, local produce?