Easy to make Garlic Scape Pesto
Last week I saw a Facebook post from a British Columbia based seed company called Westcoast seeds. This is where I purchase all my seeds from and they’re always a great source of local knowledge. The Facebook post was perfect timing since it was all about garlic scapes (garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers). I was just looking at my garlic and noticed all the scapes and wondered what I was supposed to do with them. This is the first time I’ve grown garlic and it’s all new to me so I take whatever help I can get… thanks Westcoast seeds!
You’ll see from my photos that the scapes are simply stunning. Perhaps it’s the designer in me, but all I see is the beauty in the shape and colour of these curly flower stalks. The Facebook post mentioned that it’s best to remove the scapes from the garlic at this point but also mentioned that some people like to make pesto with them – perfect, another great culinary experiment to attempt! So, although I found it hard to do, I managed to chop off the beautiful scapes and take them into the house to experiment with garlic scape pesto.
Please take a moment to “ewww” and “ahhh” and gush over the photos for a moment – seriously, another of nature’s splendour’s.
- 1/2 cup garlic scapes, finely chopped (6-8 garlic scapes)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup raw almonds toast them lightly, if you’d like)
- About 1/2 cup olive oil
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until entirely mixed. Feel free to add a little extra olive oil depending on the desired consistency.
- Serve with crackers, toast, pasta, gnocchi or rice. Enjoy!
Marinated Feta Cheese
Marinated Feta Cheese – A few weeks ago I attempted to make homemade feta cheese. You’ll notice that you see no such post about how to make feta cheese… that’s because it was a flop – I made something, but it definitely wasn’t feta cheese. Before my sorry attempt, I did a lot of research on feta and came across some really great recipes. One recipe I found over and over was marinated feta and wow did it look good. Now that I’ve had time to lick my cheese making wounds, I decided I would probably have much more success with the marinated feta (especially if I used beautifully made store bought feta). I looked around and eventually decided to make a combination of a few recipes. The result was fabulous.
This is wonderful to keep in the kitchen, to add to dishes or simply eat straight from the jar. It should keep for at least a couple of months – if it lasts that long. Just think what a great hostess gift this would make, tasty and gorgeous to look at. Oh, and you can purchase the cute little jar label here.
- Feta cut into 1″ cubes (I actually made some cubes a little smaller too just for snacking on).
- Olive Oil (enough to fill up the container)
- Fresh Herbs: Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary (mine were fresh out of the garden)
- 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
- Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
- 8-10 Sundried Tomato Slices
- 6-8 Green Pitted Olives (quartered)
- Pinch of Chili Pepper Flakes
- Sprinkling of Steak Seasoning Spice
- Get all your materials ready and start by adding enough cubes of feta to fill the bottom of the jar.
- Add 1/3 of all your ingredients (except olive oil) and try to keep most of the ingredients to the outside of the jar (it just makes the jar look prettier when you can see all the beautiful ingredients).
- Add olive oil until it cover the feta and then repeat with another 1/3 of the ingredients, add olive oil and then finish off with the last 1/3.
- Add lemon juice and then pour olive oil into jar until all the feta cubes are covered. Give a very gentle shake or roll of the jar to mix the ingredients around.
- Seal and let sit for at least 3-5 days to allow flavours to develop.
SERVE: You may want to stick a toothpick into every feta cube or just serve it as it is. Try with toast/crostini, crackers or bruschetta. Also great in eggs or salads.
You can also use the leftover oil in the jar in rice, quinoa and lentil dishes, pasta as well as roasted veggies.
Washi Tape Garden Tags
This week we’ve had incredible weather in Victoria. Warm, sunny weather means I’m out in the garden getting everything planted. Usually when I’m planting seeds, I simply use craft sticks to identify the veggies in each row but today I ran out of sticks right in the middle of planting. I searched around my house and garage but couldn’t find anything else. As I was looking, I noticed the washi tape tags on my iphone cord (see post here) and an idea popped into my head… why not use washi tape on wooden shish kabob skewers (which I have a ton of).
It’s super easy to make these garden tags. Here’s a really quick run down:
- Find a few different designs of washi tape
- Cut a strip of washi tape about 4 inches long
- Place the top of wooden shish kabob skewer in the middle of the sticky side of the washi tape and then fold the tape in half so that both sides meet and stick together
- Cut into the end of the washi tape to make a little “V” and give the tape a pennant look
- Write on the tape with a permanent Sharpie marker
- Put the stick into the ground in the area you want marked and identified.
Roasted Radishes, Carrots and Potatoes
I know I’m a bit of a dork but I get so excited seeing vegetables growing in my garden. The whole transformation from that teeny tiny speck of a seed into a wonderful, colourful and tasty piece of food that helps to feed my family still amazes me every time. Yes, I know I can run over to the grocery store and buy my vegetables but there is just something so much more satisfying about growing it myself – oh, that and it tastes divine straight out of the ground.
Today after work I popped up to the garden to see how everything was coming along when I noticed some of my radishes were looking ready to be picked – how exciting, my first harvest of the year. Now, I have to be totally honest here, I’ve never really liked radishes. In fact, the only reason I grow them is for my mother-in-law’s partner Gary, but they’re out of the country for the next month. So, that brought me to my dilemma this evening – what do I do now that I have all these radishes that are ready to be eaten. After some consideration I realized that I could probably just roast them like I do my other veggies. I gathered, chopped, seasoned and roasted and voila, they were spectacular. Roasting the radishes really mellows out the flavour so they aren’t so spicy. Note, that’s why you hardly see any radishes in the finished photo above – my husband ate most of them before I could get them to the plate to photograph.
This recipe is pretty loosie-goosie, just add a little more or a little less of whatever ingredients you like.
- 8-12 radishes halved or quartered
- 8-12 baby potatoes quartered
- 3-4 carrots chopped into chunks
- tbsp olive oil (more if you use more veggies)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp steak spices
- 1/4 tsp seasoning salt
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Gather and wash veggies and chop into pieces.
- Put into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HI for about 3-4 minutes.
- Take out of microwave and pour olive oil and all the spices into the bowl with the veggies. Stir around so that everything is evenly coated.
- Spread veggies onto a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.
- Take out of oven, let them rest for about 5 minute to cool and then serve with your meal.