Friday, July 13, 2012

Week 2: June 19

June 19, 2012
Arugula, Red Butter Lettuce, Radishes, Salad Turnips, Yukina Savoy, Salad Mix, Mizuna – Mustard bunches, Cilantro & Garlic Scapes           

            Last week I watched a young moose wade through the wetland at the end of our property. I had gone out for a walk at about 9 pm with the dogs when I heard a lot of splooshing down the road in the wetland.  I could just make out a head going through the cattails.  His antlers were just stubs, and it took me a minute to realize he did not have four ears.  I watched him as he continued swimming and wading through the middle of the wetland, disappearing into the trees.       

Garlic Scapes:  the immature flower stalks and buds of the garlic plant.   We snap them off so the plant puts its energy into growing a bigger bulb instead of seed production.  To prepare, snap off the bottom where it is tender same as asparagus, then use the rest.  Later in the season I cut off the flower bud and just eat the stalk, but right now the whole scape is tender so I would eat the whole thing.  I steam or sauté them for about 7 minutes and served them with butter, pepper and salt.  Garlic scapes can also be chopped up and used in any dish where you would normally use garlic for flavour.  I recommend chopping up a few and sautéing them with the Yukina Savoy, or using them instead of garlic cloves in the recipes below.  You can also try adding a few to your scrambled eggs or mashed potatoes.   

Mizuna: white stems and sharply pointed leaves, the purple variety has purple stems and edges.  Mizuna is tasty raw, but can be sautéed.   

Mustard Greens:  have a spicy mustard flavour.  Add them to your salad or cook like chard.  They would go nicely with the Yukina Savoy as a cooked green. 

Salad Turnips: small, round, white turnips that taste fruity and delicious.  Eat them raw.  Yum Yum.

Yukina Savoy: Tatsoi’s bigger, better, more nutritious cousin.  With its white stems and deeply wrinkled dark green, spoon shaped leaves it is a common ingredient in commercial salad mix.  It makes an excellent addition to stir fries, but I like it best raw, and would mix it with some lettuce and other greens for salad.  

            Yesterday as I walked through the garden I was amazed how things had grown in the last week when we have had so much rain.  Everything should look stressed from all the water but the plants are looking great.  The chard will be ready for harvesting next week, and all the peas are blooming.   When the rain stops everything is going to explode.  

            Our apprentice Derek is a trained chef, and he has been making the most amazing salad dressings for us, so I thought I would share a couple of his recipes with you. 

Derek’s Asian Salad Dressing
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup white vinegar
¼ c soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sugar
Chili paste or powder to taste

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup white or apple cider vinegar
½ cup frozen raspberries
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

For either recipe, blend all of the ingredients together in a blender or use a stick blender.  Keep refrigerated.

Garlic Scape Pesto
2 cups chopped garlic scapes
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup grated Romano cheese
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp pepper
½ cup olive oil

Pulse all ingredients, except oil, in a blender or food processor to form a coarse paste.  Add the olive oil and pulse to blend.  Keep refrigerated.

Arugula pesto makes a great sandwich spread, cracker or vegetable dip. 

Mix it with yogurt or mayonnaise and a bit of lemon juice to make an excellent salad dressing.

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