This year, we were <gasp> accepted into a CSA. I say accepted, because in Boulder (and Brooklyn) we aren’t the only ones interested in signing up. Getting into a CSA in Boulder (especially an orgainic one) is like getting your child into the elementary school of your choice in Park Slope. The night before, parents literally camp out at the prized school of their choice for open enrollment. It’s absolutely nuts!
Some of you (um Dad…) might not understand what a CSA is, so I’ll give a brief explanation. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Just like it sounds, by participating you are supporting your community farm. A CSA runs from the beginning of the growing season (spring) to the end (fall).
Traditionally, you pay a set amount supporting that farm regardless of drought, pest, or plant disease and in exchange you get a weekly basket of their freshest produce. The farm also might ask you to volunteer which is a great way to get to know your farmers and how to garden.
The best part of a CSA by far is the variety. My weekly basket contains vegetables that I normally wouldn’t give a second look to in the grocery store or would never see on the shelves. I have to identify what these strange veggies are and, even more importantly, how to turn them into a tasty meal.
Our CSA started last week, and in our basket came a whole lot of unknowns! The one that stuck out the most was a squiggly green fragrant pungent vegetables called a garlic scape.
Being a garlic and onion lover, I was stoked to find another form to cook with and as it turns out a new favorite. I looked up a few ways to use garlic scapes in the kitchen and this recipe stuck out.
Garlic Scape Pesto Adapted from Umami Girl
You will need:
~ ¾ cup chopped garlic scapes
~ ¼ cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
~ 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
~ salt and pepper to taste
~ ¼ cup EVOO
~ ¼ cup grated (high quality) Parmesan Reggiano
First, toast the walnuts for a few minutes over medium low heat. Nuts burn easily so make sure to watch closely. When done set aside to let cool.
While nuts are cooling, coarsely chop garlic scapes and grate cheese. Add garlic scapes, walnuts, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse about 30 seconds. Then stream oil in (through the top of your food processor) while the food processor is running. Once all the oil has been combined thoroughly, stir in cheese. Taste for salt and pepper and add any if needed.
I find it better if you let it gel for a few hours before serving. We found two tasty uses for it: Salmon and pizza! Enjoy!