Presto Pesto

May 18, 2009 at 7:32 pm 1 comment

We’re in our second week of getting fresh-picked veggies, herbs and greens from Edible Earthscapes, the CSA located just 4.8 miles from our home. Our basket runneth over…. but we ain’t complaining. This time Haruka and Jason added the following to our stash: more baby beets and turnips, swiss chard, romaine, bok choy, arugula and komatsuna (Asian spinach green).

Then they threw in something I never had before:  scapes. Say what? These would be the flowery shoots that garlic and leeks send up just before they are ready to be fully harvested. Long, curly green stalks that taste just like garlic, and rather nippy garlic at that.

I diced up a bit for a salad, and sauted some in a stir fry Saturday with some of Eliza’s sausage from Cane Creek Farm and Mizuma from my CSA box. All good. But maybe there was something more creative to be done. Then I stumbled over a recipe in the spring issue of Edible Piedmont for Raw Garlic Scape Pesto.

Sounded great. If this stuff turned out to be any good at all, I’d be set for the next six months or so since we live on pesto to spice up leftovers and pasta. Could this be a new easy way to produce my favorite secret sauce?

I was game. I cut Edible Piedmont’s recipe in half for our trial run and threw the following into the blender: 1/4 pound scapes chopped into 1 inch sections, 3/4 cup of olive oil and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Hit “blend” and 60 seconds later I had a pint of something tangy that looked like guacomole and tasted every bit as good as my favorite pesto.

Whoa, that was too easy (no pain, no gain and all that), so I threw in a handful of walnuts (pine nuts would probably be just as good), mashed the blend button one more time, and oh-my-god: presto pesto perfecto. I heated it up and tossed it over leftover spinach/feta ravioli.

I was unstoppable now, so I had some Swiss chard sauteed in olive oil with a splash of scape presto pesto on the side. All of this took all of about five minutes, my kind of dinner. I’m sure this will be dynamite on bruschetta or garlic bread, just about any kind of pasta, as well as chicken and seafood.

And here’s a tip for freezing: make presto pesto ice cubes in your freezer tray, then wrap them individually and store them in a freezer bag so you can take out as much as you need when you need it throughout the year.

Thanks, Edible Earthscapes and Edible Piedmont, we’re naming this version of garlic scape pesto for you:  Edible Presto Pesto.

Entry filed under: Sustainable Food.

Urban Chic(ks) Rest in peace, Ristin

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