Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Garlic Scape Pesto

I'm a sucker for pretty things.  Most of the time its home-ware: plates, napkins, pots and pans, table sets, spatulas, hutches, art work, chests, table cloths, platters, baskets.  I can't go antiquing without mentally furnishing my imaginary home.  And I have stopped myself from going into any kitchen-ware stores at all.  It's just not good.  But my obsession is not just limited to things - it's also a big problem when it comes to food.  If it looks pretty or interesting, I need it.  Sometimes I won't even know what it is or what to do with it, but its just too beautiful to pass by.  This proves to be very troublesome at the farmer's market.  Take for example, yesterday...

I made a quick stop at Gravity Hill Farms to get some basil  for dinner and ended up coming home with a giant bag of gorgeous produce.  The first thing that caught my eye were these beautiful green and yellow stripped summer squash.  They stood out vibrantly against the wicker basket they were nestled in.  I grabbed three.  Turning around in the tiny market, the next thing I saw were heads of cauliflower - bright white with the faintest hint of purple around the edges and underneath.  Then I saw purple-bottomed scallions that I thought how perfectly they would compliment the cauliflower and then I realized that my arms were overflowing with produce, except the basil I had come there for.  And an ever bigger struggle came with the picking the basil.  Gravity Hill offers three - yes, three - types of basil: Italian, Thai, and Lemon.  The Italian is the classic wide leaf basil that most grocery stores sell.  The Thai basil has a purple-ish stem with smaller leaves, and is sweet and a little spicy (sometimes said to have a cinnamon-like flavor).  The lemon basil also has small, delicate leaves, but smells like, well, lemons and basil.  It has this fresh, bright flavor with a more subtle basil flavor lurking in the background.  While I would have loved the Thai basil to go with the purple color scheme I had going, my mom isn't a big fan of basil, so I got the Lemon since its less-basily, and the citrus would make the pesto light and springy.  After I got the basil, I strode right over to the register - if I let my gaze wander, I would have come home with a whole vegetable garden.  Just leaving with the one bag was practicing ridiculously good self-control, if I don't say so myself.
When I got home I was met with yet another dilemma - what do I make for dinner?  The whole point of picking up basil was because I planned on making a garlic scape pesto, but with the addition of the summer squash and purple cauliflower, my brain was whirling with possibilities.  I immediately entailed the help of my mother, who is a master at cultivating and focusing my thoughts (both culinary and life-wise).  I decided to keep with the original plan of pesto with the addition of scallions to the base.  I originally wanted to serve it over polenta or quinoa, but my mom was really in the mood for pasta, but I was unwilling to give up my vision, so we compromised with pastina.  I also decided to saute up some seafood medley we had in the freezer with the summer squash and scallions.  It ended up not being the dish that was in my head, but it was delicious - light and fresh, but hearty and filling.  And hey, I found a way to use almost all of my impulse buys!  I just need to figure out how to highlight that cauliflower in tomorrow night's dinner...

Garlic Scape Pesto
10 garlic scapes
3 large scallions
2 cups loosely packed basil
¼ cup olive oil

+ Place scapes, scallions, and basil in a food processor.  Blend, then slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture as it continues to blend until the desired texture is reached.  Season to taste.

No comments:

Post a Comment