Saturday, July 16, 2016

2016 Garlic: Pesto

This year's garlic harvest was the biggest yet.
Last year I had planted 2/3 of a garden bed.

Because I know that all the garlic will get eaten, and it is the lowest maintenance crops I have, I decided to go for it and planted an entire garden bed full of it.
(The garlic is in the front bed... the back one is all asparagus which didn't produce as well this year as I had hoped.)

What happens when you plant that much garlic? You get tons of garlic scapes! (Yay!)

I don't know what it is about garlic scapes, but I think they are beautiful. Something about the color, with the shape makes them feel so graceful. It helps that they smell amazing too.

You may remember that a few years ago I tried to make garlic scape pesto, but that only turned out so-so. This year I tried a different recipe and it was soooooo good! (I know I'm bias but even my foodie friend said so.)

I started with this garlic scape pesto recipe from "In the Kitchen & On the Road with Dorie Greenspan." The flavor was spot on, but it was STRONG!
I love garlic way more than the next person, but MAN! If you want to taste (and smell like) nothing but garlic for at least 12 hours, that is your recipe. Whew!

Instead of a thicker paste type pesto, I made mine into a much thinner bread-dip style pesto.

10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like)
1+ cup olive oil (add more to dilute if desired)
1 tsp Sea salt

- Toast the almonds and throw them in a food processor (or blender) 
- Add the scapes, salt, and about half the olive oil
- Blend until smooth
- Add the Parmesan and the remaining olive oil
- Add more olive oil and salt to achieve the desired taste and consistency.

Dear Husband said that every time he eats crusty bread with the dip, he feels like he is in a fancy restaurant.

Above is the full recipe but because I had so many scapes, I cut the olive oil in half and froze it in an ice cube tray. That way I can let a cube thaw and add more olive oil for dip anytime.

We were also able to harvest a few other things from the garden including carrots and sugar snap peas, along with beets for the first time!
The beets were so sweet and tender, I will definitely have to plant more of those next year.

A few weeks later, over the Fourth of July, Mom helped me harvest the garlic bulbs from the garden. They now need to dry out and cure for a few weeks before trimming off the roots and leaves. A very rough estimate gives us around 100 heads of garlic.

I think I am going to be searching for some new recipes to use a lot of this and gift a lot more!

I'm thinking some roasted garlic....