Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Best Friend Friday No. 38: The Story of the Garlic Scapes

Almost every Wednesday Lauren and I receive a CSA box full of fresh, local fruits and veggies. We've been Philly Foodworks customers for several months now, and love the produce we've gotten. Although we end up paying slightly more than we would at our local grocery store, the freshness of the fruits and veggies is worth every penny we've spent. Most of the produce is also organic which is an added bonus! Typically, the Sunday leading up to our delivery we sign into our online account and select exactly what we want. This method of ordering has really worked for us as it's allowed us to successfully meal plan for the ensuing week.

However, one week ago we made a mistake thinking that if we didn't select anything from the online market we were thus opting not to receive a CSA shipment the coming week. Little did we know that by not selecting anything we were actually requesting the "mixed farmer's choice" box. Although it is fun and very important to try new foods, sometimes you just have no idea what to do with a particular item. In this case, that item was garlic scapes. I'll be honest, before this mishap I had never even heard of them, and when they arrived, I would've used them similarly to green onions. Luckily, they were a little more familiar to Lauren, though she had never tasted nor cooked with them before. She did know that a lot of people use them to make garlic scape pesto. Both of us enjoy the traditional basil pesto, but don't eat it often as it's usually not vegan. So, we decided to try our hands at garlic scape pesto. I followed this recipe, but made a larger batch and added extra nutritional yeast.

After tasting the pesto, I couldn't get rid of the garlic flavor. I'm a huge garlic fan, and would pick garlic fries over regular fries any day.  But even for me the garlic was so overpowering and the ensuing spiciness, overwhelming. I knew right away that Lauren wasn't going to be a fan of this spread, and that there was no way to doctor it up to her liking. As we were serving ourselves dinner that Thursday night, I warned her try the pesto before dousing her pasta in it. I was right. She ended up eating pasta with marinara sauce instead. On the other hand, once I got past my initial shock, I actually didn't mind the flavor.

Like every week, we were planning to have homemade pizza Friday night. Originally we were both going to add the leftover pesto to our pizzas, but after the previous night's pasta situation, I knew that wouldn't be happening. Lauren made her traditional Friday night pizza with marinara, cashew cheese sauce, olives, zucchini, onion, and potatoes. I added the tiniest bit of pesto to mine, and I surprisingly really loved it. This ended up being one of my favorite pizzas in a long time.

We happily ate our respective pizzas while watching the U.S. Women's soccer game versus China. Because we don't have cable, we had to live stream the game from Lauren's computer. Although a hassle, Lauren has the live stream set up down to a science, knowing exactly which books are needed to prop the computer up so that the screen is the perfect eye level height.

While I don't see us buying anymore garlic scapes in the future, I'm determined to polish off this pesto. I really don't mind that Lauren won't eat it (we all have certain foods that we won't put near our mouths). But, I've made it my unofficial duty to eat all of the garlic scape pesto. It's definitely not as good as traditional basil pesto, but it's not inedible either. A girl can only eat so much pesto though! Besides pasta and pizza, I've used the pesto as a dipping sauce for veggies and it will most likely become a sandwich spread in the very near future. I'm running out of ways to incorporate pesto into my meals though, but I won't fall victim to the garlic scapes!