Unusual food combinations are so appealing to me. One cold afternoon, I went to do one my favourite rainy day things and strolled through a Chapters while sipping a blasphemous over-sugared Starbucks concoction. I stumbled upon a pile of cookbooks and was immediately drawn to Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. The photography is breathtaking and completely inspiring. I quickly tucked it under my arm and proceeded to the cash register. I don’t buy cookbooks very often and this one was also entirely vegetarian which is crazy for such a carnivore like myself.
Weeks later I invited a favourite couple of mine over for a loosely Mediterranean style dinner to thank them for graciously storing my off-season tires in their garage all year.
This recipe is the most eye catching and strangely delicious with pops of pomegranate, tangy yogurt sauce and succulent eggplant underneath. I must admit I did wing some of it because I was missing some of the ingredients but I feel it captured the essence nonetheless.
Here’s the recipe!
Bokchoy is super boring to me so whenever the other half buys it, I try and make it a little bit more interesting. Looking at my pantry of jars, I decided to open up a can of orange wedges infused in some rooibos tea syrup. Stir fried the bok choy up with a little soy, chili flakes and garlic and threw in the orange pieces last minute.
The result was a sweet, spicy, tangy bok choy that was very unboring.
I made this rainbow slaw for a picnic before a Bard on the Beach night and the comments I got were pretty hilarious. Things like “What am I eating?”, “Why are these vegetables tasty?” and “Why is this carrot purple?” were a few questions that I got.
It’s rather simple you see, sometimes beets aren’t red and carrots aren’t always just orange. There ARE different varieties and usually you can only find them at farmer’s markets. Plus it’s fun. Plus it’s mega tasty.
Here’s the recipe!
You know why I love farmer’s markets? Because a lot of the varieties you find there you can’t get in grocery stores. Summer produce is the best because everything is so amazingly colourful and unusual. Take these pink beets from Klippers….reddish pink swirled with orange and yellow with white veins. Not only were they crazy fresh but they were very sweet indeed!
Each one you cut is a surprise….kinda reminds me of some heirloom tomatoes.
I made a chicken beet salad with a combo of pink and golden beets…..so pretty!
Last year I made a single jar of garlic scape pesto and have been regretting it for an entire year that I didn’t make more! This year I decided to make a small batch so we could have garlic scape all year round!
The general rule to pesto in my opinion is that you need something garlicky, some sort of nut or seed, olive oil and some kind of cheese. Last year I used cashews, basil and parmesan. This year I used sunflower seeds, red basil and blue cheese. It’s totally up to you.
I didn’t grind it quite so fine this time as I left some of the pesto plain (no cheese or seeds) so that I could blend up a smoother batch with flavourings that I happen to have on hand at the time. One goes in the fridge, the rest goes in the freezer.
Great for pasta (duh!) but also amazing as a marinade or tossed in some leafy steamed veggies. So good. Get your garlic scapes NOW! The season is uber short!
Click on the link for last year’s recipe…feel free to substitute to your taste!
Garlic Scape Pesto
A half filled sink of scapes makes six jars of chunky texture!
Chop up your scapes first before you put them in your blender so it doesn’t have a heart attack
First of all, what is a garlic scape? A garlic scape is a long stalk that grows out of the center of the garlic plant. At the top of this stalk is a bulb that would eventually grow into a flower. Like all other plants, once it starts flowering, most of the energy of the plant goes towards the plant for reproduction purposes.
Farmers and gardeners cut off this garlic scape when it is still curly, young and tender enough to eat. The reason? Cutting of the bulb allows more of the energy to grow the garlic bulb in the ground…thus bigger garlic!
But the great thing is that garlic scapes are delicious! The season is quite short, about 2-3 weeks in the spring so get ’em while they’re around at your local farmer’s market! Klipper’s will have them for a couple of weeks at the Vancouver Farmer’s Market. $5 for 5 bunches!
Garlic scapes are quite pungent when raw and has the same kick as raw garlic cloves. When it cooked, it mellows out but still retains an awesome garlic flavour with a hint of green onion. Cooked up it resembles asparagus in texture.
Here are 12 things you can do with garlic scapes:
Sometimes I just have a craving for coleslaw, even that awful creamy green super shredded goop satisfies! I have no idea what makes that kind of coleslaw green but I opted out of finding out how and instead made my version instead. Left over purple cabbage was sitting in the fridge and I just happen to have purchased a green one that day too…time for coleslaw!
This involves no mayo and is a light vinaigrette dressing instead. Cabbage stays crunchy so this big salad last us for a few days and tasted great until the last day!
Here’s the recipe…