Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CSA Week Four :: Garlic Scape Season

Hello Everyone,

As the subject line of this email suggests it's that time of year when we harvest garlic scapes, the immature flowers of the garlic plant.

Cutting the scape before it flowers forces more production into the ground which results in bigger garlic bulbs. But the scapes are also a wonderful cooking ingredient. [Recipes below] It is used much like a green onion, chopped up and added to stir fry or sauteed with other vegetables (kohlrabi anyone?) Garlic scapes are more mild than straight garlic. One of my favorite ways to use them is put them in the food processor, added Parmesan cheese, olive oil and walnuts and out pops excellent pesto. It also freezes well. It's a short season so look for them at the market over the next few weeks.

This week CSA members will get:

1 dozen eggs
1 loaf of bread

Garlic Scapes
Spring Onions (if you don't like garlic scapes)
Sugar Snap Peas
Choice of: Swiss Chard, Mibuna, Arugula, Kohlrabi

I'll see you at the pick up location this afternoon from 4 until 6.

The weeds are coming on strong. They like the alternating rain and shine and are threatening to take over a few spots in the field. Luckily more help is on the way. Last week David and I built the second of three chicken tractors (movable pens). He'll be putting together 3 later this week in anticipation of more chickens coming next week. Last Friday was the first of three visits by Sandra Smith's AP English class from Concord High School. We got some harvesting and some weeding done. We also set out about 200 tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Thanks for all your help.

The list to do is long this week so on to the recipes.


Garlic Scape Pesto

Makes about 1 cup


8 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup Walnuts (or pecans or pine nuts)
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt


Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, nuts and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt. Freezes really well. Caution! Addictive.

Sautéed Collard Greens with Garlic Scapes


2 lbs. collards (more or less)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 chopped garlic scapes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste


Rinse collards well. Stack leaves, 3 at a time, and tightly roll lengthwise into a cigar shape. Slice crosswise into 1/2-inch strips; discard stems and center ribs as desired. Set chopped collards aside.

Combine butter and olive oil in a sauté pan and melt over medium heat. Add scapes and sauté briefly, about thirty seconds. Add collard greens; sauté, turning frequently, about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add lemon juice and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat, salt to taste and serve immediately.

Sauteed Radishes and Peas with Garlic Scapes

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots or any onion
1 cup peas, shelled
2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 1 large bunch)
1/4 cup orange juice
2 chopped garlic scapes

Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add peas and radishes; sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add orange juice and garlic scapes; stir 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; serve.


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