Garlic Scape Pesto

It’s always fun to try a new recipe. I cook with garlic garlic scapes

all the time. May through June we cut off the sinuous young garlic scapes from our rocambole garlic and stir-fry or grill them with a touch of olive oil. This last week my friend Signe introduced me to Garlic Scape Pesto. The last of our scapes had flower tips that were drying and stems were a little firm. Sigrid showed us how to peel way the outer skin with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. We discarded the flower heads and cut the stems into 1 inch lengths to run in the food processor. For one cup chopped scapes add 1/2 cup olive and run in process until it’s chunky and add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. It was shockingly good, It’s not unusual to add basil, nuts or sunflower seed. I’ve taken to adding fresh dill and spearmint. So far we’ve enjoyed this was grilled salmon and chicken couscous. The couscous was a real surprise on one of those rushed workday evenings when guests are coming and the rhythm is not quite right in the kitchen. I had not made harissa sauce, a spicy sweet pepper sauce usually accompanying a chicken/vegetable couscous. We served pesto and surprise, we all kept eating eating a bite of couscous and a dab of garlic scape pesto. so if you still have scapes in the garden clip them off and if they still have a bit of tenderness try this recipe. The scapes only occur on the hard neck rocambole garlic varieties. The flowers this garlic produces is invariably sterile. Scapes are lovely in flower arrangements.

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 cup chopped garlic scapes-trimmed and peeled as necessary                                          1 half cup olive oil                                                                                                                        1 half cup Parmesan cheese, shreddedgarlic pesto

Place chopped scapes and garlic oil in food processor until coarsely chopped then add cheese and process only until well mixed. Pesto is good with the additions of herbs, spearmint, dill or basil. Blanched chopped almonds, cashews, walnuts or sunflower seeds are other possible additions. I no longer recommend pine nuts because there have problems with some nuts from China and the price is now exorbitant.

Winter Squash Muffins

SquashKatysSweetMeatKaty's squash muffin

 

These muffins are for Nichols Plant Day, Saturday, May 16th, 2015.

Katy’s Sweet, Sweet Meat type winter squash, upper left, has a smooth, rich flavor and is also one of the sweetest winter squash varieties. It stores well for the winter pantry. The squash run 7-12pounds, I split them open, remove seeds, turn flesh onto the pan and cook slowly at 325 fahrenheit. Pierce the rind and when it gently gives and you start to see some juice running the squash is cooked. There usually more than than can be eaten at one sitting so I often freeze extra in a one quart container and sometimes when a friend comes by I’ll ask if they would like a piece of cooked winter squash. Almost always, the reply is “Cooked?, Why yes.”  Let me add this squash turns sweeter after picking. we harvest in October before frost and always enjoy it at Thanksgiving on through March.

A local gardener who loves this squash has developed his own Katy’s Sweet Squash muffin recipe. He generously comes by with these at least once and sometimes twice a year.

Katy’s Sugar Meat Muffin Recipe

2 eggs
1 cup cooked Katy Stoke’s Sweet Meat Squash
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup milk
1½ cup sugar (we adjust to ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt (may reduce or omit)
1 ¼ cup unbleached flour
½ cup wholewheat flour (or simply use 1 ¾ cup unbleached)
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup milk chocolate chips…the milk chocolate melds better with the squash than standard semi-sweet. Chocolate chips are optional but very good.

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F.

Place eggs , oil, cooled squash, and milk into a bowl or mixer and whip. Sift sugar, soda,baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt and flour. (I double sift)

With a large spoon mix ingredients until lightly moistened. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Fill muffin or cupcake pans 2/3 full. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. If using mini muffin trays bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Fill muffin cups with paper liners or mist cups with a 50% oil/50% water emulsion from a small sprayer. Yield is 12 regular size muffins or 24 mini muffins.

Katy Stokes began selecting this variety in 2,000. One plant produced superb squash, she carefully selected her seed for planting the following year and did this for eight years. Every year she only planted seed from squash with the quality she sought. And now she supplies us with planting stock each year from only the very best and has developed a fine variety that is an ideal size for most household.

Katy Stokes began selecting this variety in 2,000. One plant produced superb squash, she carefully selected her seed for planting the following year and did this for eight years. Every year she only planted seed from squash with the quality she sought. And now she supplies us with planting stock each year from only the very best and has developed a fine variety that is an ideal size for most households.

 

Fresh Pickled Carrots & Radishes

A friend brought her pickled carrots to a meeting and we all asked for the recipe. I’ve been putting in a slice of onion and a bruised garlic clove in each jar instead of the dry onion powder and garlic.

Pickled Carrots & Radishes

I cut the carrots to fit the jar and quarter the upper part and halve the lower if they are large. The jar looks appealing as long as some of the carrot pieces are left long. The radishes are cut into quarters if they are large like a Champion  and if tiny Cherriette types could be left whole. These make a nice little house gift just remind friends these should be eaten within two weeks.

Pickled carrots radishes

Makes 8 servings.

3 cups cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

¼ cup kosher salt

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 pounds carrots, peeled, trimmed and quartered

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, garlic powder, onion powder. Bring to a simmer, stirring often until the slat and sugar are dissolved. Add the carrots and then bring to a boil and cook for an additional two minutes, then set aside to cool. This recipe works equally well with radishes but if combined the radish pigments will overwhelm the carrots so I cook the carrots first and reuse the vinegar spice solution to prepare the radishes.  Also I add two thin slices of fresh ginger to the radishes.

Once the vegetables are cool, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a jar or bowl. Ladle just enough of the liquid and spices over the vegetables to cover them. Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Chiffon cake made with Magic Manna Flour Corn

Friends with celiac disease will enjoy a delicious cake now and then. IMG_2836copyKeeping track of all ingredients is a paramount health concern. Carol Deppe, artisan corn breeder has introduced us to her versatile and flavorful

Magic Manna flour corn. Wise in the ways of cooking for celiac disease she has developed the best corn we’ve tried for baking.

Manna Flour CornChiffon cake made with Magic Manna Flour Corn flour is an authentic, no fussing cake with a simple substitution of this delectible corn flour for wheat flour. Baked in an angel food tin it produces a light  cake with a delightful aroma and flavor from the Magic Manna corn flour. Bob’s Red Mill also offers Corn flour for baking. It is widely available and can be found throughout the west and through the mail.

This Chiffon cake has a fine texture and holds together perfectly when sliced. It is particularly convenient that home grown Magic Manna has soft kernels and can be ground in a coffee grinder, blender or a home style flour mill. Carol Deppe the breeder of this artisan flour corn recommends the “Whisper Mill”. After grinding freeze any extra corn flour in a well sealed heavy duty plastic bag to preserve qualtiy and retain the savory aromatics.

The following recipe is an adaptation of the classic Williams-Sonoma Orange Chiffon Cake.
2 1/4 cups Corn Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbs. baking flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup seed or nut oil
6 whole eggs, separated,  plus 2 egg whites
2 Tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Directions
Position a rack in the lower third of oven and preheat to 325 F.
Separate the eggs carefully as even a speck of yolk dropped in the whites will prevent them from fully expanding.
Mix Batter
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Into a large bowl whisk to combine the oil, 6 egg yolks, orange zest, and water until well blended. Set aside, you will shortly use a rubber spatula to gently combine this batter with the egg whites.
Beat the Egg Whites
In a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium high speed, beat the 8 egg whites and the cream of tarter until soft peaks form. Using the rubber spatula, now gently fold one-half the egg whites into the batter until almost blender. Next gently fold in the remaining egg whites with your spatula just until combined. Pour batter into an ungreased 10- inch tube or angel food cake pan. Using your spatula creat a flat surface.
Bake the Cake
Bake approximately 50 to 60 minutes. Test with a tooth inserted in the center has no batter clinging to it when removed. Remove from oven and invert the cake onto a wire rack and let cool for one hour. Once fully cooled run a thin-bladed knoife around the edge of the pan and the center tube ind invert onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve. I find any leftover cake freezes eel when carefully wrapped in foil or plastic and will slice while still frozen.
Adapted from the Williams-Sonoma  Food Made Fast Series, by Lou Seibert Pappas.

Winter Salad with Prebiotics & Probiotics

8 cups mixed red & green cabbage, sliced

5 green onions(scallions sliced

5 fresh radishes, sliced

½ pound jicama julienned

1 crisp apple, quartered & sliced

parsley, rinsed and coarsely chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

parsley ¼ cup chopped

juice of one lemon

teaspoon fennel seed

Dressing

Natural yogurt 1 cup

2 tablespoons olive or nut oil

salt or honey as needed

The post-Thanksgiving festivities have ended and time to think about the best foods we can eat. A refreshing salad is the center an evening meal. These vegetables are full of vitamins and also rich in prebiotics from jicama and probiotics from yogurt and the optional touch of honey. Both prebiotics and probiotics play roles in our health. To greatly simplify in this draft Prebiotics are non-absorbable vegetables that feed probiotic bacteria and I think of them as forming a scaffolding for the growth of beneficial probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that maintain a healthy digestive system. In any event this salad or one like is good for us all. Make substitutions, maybe add a few nuts, switch out dried cranberries for raisins, pears or oranges for apples but keep the jicama and yogurt.

 

Blueberry Fool for April Fool’s Day

Fruit fools are old fashioned desserts made from on a handful of ingredients. As a gardener with a freezer I have food in the freezer to use before the bounty of summer is upon us. Blueberry FoolI’ve always thought recipes for fruit fool’s were too rich and have passed them by. In anticipation of April Fool’s Day and wanting an unbaked dessert with blueberries this seemed doable. I doubled the blue berries, replaced half the whipping cream with yogurt, cut the sugar to two tablespoons and added two tablespoons of Greek rose preserves. Another time I’ll try orange marmalade.

Recipe for 4

2 cups frozen Blueberries                                                                                                   1/2 cup heavy whipping cream                                                                                          2 tablespoons sugar                                                                                                             1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons rose petal preserves

BBFool setupSelect four glass containers for your dessert dishes. Coarsely chop frozen berries in a food processor and set aside a few whole berries to use as a topping. Whip cream in a cold mixing bowel and stir in sugar. Add preserves to yogurt. To setup this dessert alternate spoonfuls of berries, yogurt and whipped cream into each glass until all ingredients are used. Lightly run a table knife lightly through each dessert serving.

Dandelion Bud Omelet

First Day of Spring. Here it was beautiful and sunny though once again rain was predicted. I was out pulling dandelions today and remembered how much we love a dandelion bud omelet. Here’s my recipe from Basic Herb cookery. They remind me of artichokes.

dandelion bud omelet½ cup dandelion buds

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

4 eggs, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a 9-12” non-stick skillet on medium high. Saute rinsed and drained dandelion buds in butter until softened. Pour beaten eggs over buds and sprinkle choves over the eggs. Use a spatula to gently lift eggs in pan and let uncooked eggsrun under cooked portion. When bottom is golden and eggs have set on the outer edges, fold in half. Remove from heat and let firm up for about 30 seconds before serving.Two or three tablespoons Swiss or freshly shredded Parmesan cheese adds to the flavor.

Today I used a full cup of young buds and 6 eggs for three people. Our daughter gave us truffle salt so sprinkled that on…delicious, and with a bit of parmesan quite a delicious dinner. Garnished with a few blossoms and substituted fresh green onions for chives.

When pulling the dandelions I was struck by how many slugs were hanging around though I wasn’t seeing damaged buds, they obviously had been eating petals.

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