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Garlic Scapes Pesto

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The Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey

by Laurie Dotson 
Garlic in the garden

Garlic in the garden

Sorry, No honey cooking today!  How about garlic.

For years, We had this strange plant growing in our garden.  At the time, I loved flower gardening. I had multiple large gardens in my yards.  I would add any new or throw away perennials people would give me.  And If I didn’t have room, I would make a new garden.  Big, Beautiful flower gardens. I had an oasis.

Every Spring and early summer, I would notice this plant. A hardy plant, that would grow a spiked shoot and then over night it would curl.  When it flowered, it has tiny little flowers and then it would grow these bulbs off the end.  Later the bulbs would drop and the next year I had more plants.  I loved the shape and the color. I would use them in flower arrangements and potted arrangements.  Still never knew exactly what I had.  Until one day, when I dig up a huge mound of them.     I eat everything.     So I took a deep swiff of it and then bit into it! Yeowzers! I had garlic! GARLIC!  All these years, I had Garlic. I love Garlic.  Garlic is a staple in my kitchen. It goes in everything I cook.  I could grow these, along with other herbs and make food for the family. But Vegetable gardening ? Never a consideration…until!

After a quick internet search on garlic. I learned how to care and grow garlic cloves.  I now have 200 garlic plants and that is where the garlic scapes come from.  What do you do with all your scapes??  Well we saute’ them with veggies, I roast them with meat, I cut them ups and add them to a salad… or I make this Garlic Scape Pesto is a great way to use something we get a whole heck of a lot of this time of year. When you grow two hundred heads of garlic, guess how many garlic scapes you get? That is correct – you get two hundred garlic scapes. That’s a lot.

Scapes are important to the garlic – it’s how more garlic plants happen. There are little seeds in the bigger round part, and if you leave the scapes in place, they would eventually burst open, scattering ripe seeds around, which will germinate and make more garlic plants. Unfortunately, in so doing, they draw nutrients away from the growing of the bulb they are on – and the bulbs are what is important to us. So, they all have to be cut off. And since we can’t stand to waste anything, we are working on finding ways to use them. They have great taste and very tender and the texture fabulous.  Get them early!

I cut a five gallon bucket full of these Garlic Scapes

I cut a five gallon bucket full of these Garlic Scapes

Fortunately, they are really wonderful in pesto, because we get all the great flavor and they get completely ground up, so texture isn’t an issue. And we LOVE pesto. I make as much of it as I can every summer and freeze it in ice cube trays to enjoy through the winter. Once the pesto is frozen solid, you can just pop the cubes out of the tray and store them in ziplock bags or other containers. You do want to have some trays dedicated solely to pesto and like substances though – the ice cube trays will absorb the flavor and pesto flavored iced tea is surprisingly un-tasty.

Garlic Pesto Ingerdents

Garlic Pesto Ingerdents

You will likely be able to find garlic scapes at your local Farmer’s Market this time of year, or maybe even in your CSA box. If you know someone who grows garlic, they might have some to share – they are worth looking for!

Garlic Scape Pesto

Serves: 1 & ½ cups
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chopped garlic scapes
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup lightly toasted pine nuts or almonds
  • ½ cup fresh basil, packed tightly – then roughly chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup good quality olive oil
Instructions
  1. Add everything but the oil to the bowl of a food processor
  2. Process until everything is finely chopped and almost a paste.
  3. Leave the processor running and stream in oil
  4. It will only take a moment of two for the mixture to emulsify – turn off processor.
  5. Leave at room temperature for an hour or so to develop flavors- keep plastic wrap pressed to top surface to keep the top from turning brown.
  6. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, or can be frozen.

garlic scape pestoGarlic Scape Pesto is wonderful anywhere that you would use ordinary pesto – on vegetables, pasta, in sandwiches, topping a bowl of soup – just about anything, really. Experiment to find how you like to use it most!  I will be taking this on a camping trip with friends and using this in my dinner preparations.

Enjoy your Garden and Farm, and all it has to offer!

Laurie

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Luke 11:13 NIV  If you then, though you are not perfect, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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Honey Zucchini Butter Bread

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Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey by Laurie Dotson

This spring, here in Ohio, the weather was wet and cold for at less 5 weeks. Our bees had a rough start. We had to feed them a high protein sugar water.  When it rains, bees don’t leave the hive.  In addition to that, the flowers from plants and trees emerged later then in previous springs. When the flowers did emerge, they came all at once. We were not given a long continuous nectar and pollen season. So our bees, were not able to produce a large production of honey for a  early summer extraction.  We have had to wait and care for our bees with a gentle hand this summer.  Good news though, we are looking forward to extracting honey in the next few days.  Crossing our fingers and hoping for a large production.

With the wet long spring,  my garden could not be tilled by Budd the old farmer, until the ground had dried out. So my garden went in almost a month late.  I was not able to put in spring lettuces, broccoli and other cool weather plants and seeds.  My good friend and one of the partners in Hive & Honey BEEpothecary, Steve Saum,  had planted indoors, tomato plants, early this spring for transplant.  He had given me 35 plants and then I had another 20 plant reseed themselves from last year.  My zucchini, summer and winter squash, melons, beans, and corn are just now reaching their peak  production of fruit.  So I have an abundance of gardening and fruits that need a home.  I have been giving away veggies to people in need, here in my community.  God is good and knew when this garden needed to be planted.  I had my ideas of when but, God’s timing and plans are always far better than mine.    Thank you God!  If you know someone in need, I have gifts!   Let me know!

So with an abundance of squash, I have made this recipes multiple times and finally revised it, to where I love it.

Honey zucchini butter bread

Honey Zucchini Butter Bread

Recipe makes 2 – 9×5 inch loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 cups self-rising flour

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 2/3 cups white sugar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup melted butter

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

  • 3 cups grated unpeeled zucchini

  • 1 cup chopped walnut

  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.

  2. Stir together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl until blended. Set aside.

  3. Whisk eggs, sugar, oil, butter, honey, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Stir in zucchini, walnuts, and coconut. Add the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans.

  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool completely. Store loaves overnight in plastic bags for best flavor.

Happy Eating and Harvesting!

Numbers 11:5

“We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic