- Chard or kale
- Chinese broccoli
- Radishes or kohlrabi
- Green garlic or garlic scapes
First, I want to wish all the mothers out there a very special day. Usually this day has a celebratory brunch cooked by the family for the mothers, but today in quarantine things are different. We will attempt our first family dinner since the end of February. Each household will have their own table. The meal is prepared by the mothers and all raw veggies are washed with a mask on and each table will have their own salad. It will be so hard not to hug my mom, my son, my sister, but unless we live in the same house we need to protect one another. Maybe this will be our new tradition, until now we have had facetime Sunday dinners.
Well we are in that hard spot on the farm, between spring and summer with spring crops either done or about to fruit (sugar snap peas are an example). Our onions that were planted in October are almost ready but we are battling the gophers. Many of our first attempts at carrots and beets were not successful. Who would think that the king and queen of beets would be dethroned? I guess that happened long ago, but there was a time that we gave beets every week. We keep trying but they are a struggle now, not a joy. The days of rain have been helpful, but then the dry windy heat stresses the plants (and the farmers). This is the norm for spring, but somehow the reserve that we have (I have) is extra stretched.
Juvencio has been staying on top of the weeding, but that is a never ending job. We managed to get those cherry tomatoes in the ground and a good chunk of the peppers. I am hoping for more hours in the day to get the hot peppers transplanted in our new hoop house. The cucumbers I have been encouraging are not faring well and many of them succumbed to the innocent appearing pill bug. The tender stems of these cucurbits are a favorite and with a few bites the plant shrivels and dies. I will just keep planting until they survive.
Green garlic and garlic scapes come once a year for 1-2 weeks. We take the flowering part of the garlic (the scape) and pull it so that bulb gets the energy and not the flower. This makes a delicately garlic flavored sprout for you to use in soups, stir fries or simply grilled on the BBQ with olive oil and salt. The green garlic is actually elephant garlic we grow to share with you at this time of year. Again, use the green tender parts to flavor your food.
Off to harvest.
Garlic Scape Hummus
Posted by Carole Koch
Thanks to Kelly Long, Illinois Benedictine University Dietetic Intern, for sharing this recipe!
2 cans of chick peas (garbanzos) drained
1 cup sesame seeds or tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh chopped garlic scapes
Place the ingredients in a blender on high until a thick paste forms. Salt to taste.
Optional: add your favorite curry, to taste.
Spinach and Green Garlic Soup
The green garlic shoots I’ve been using are fairly small and slim, like scallions, and they’ve been wonderfully mild and sweet. If yours are larger, they might be a bit more pungent, but their flavor should mellow nicely with cooking. And if you can’t find green garlic, I’ll bet you could get a similar flavor with some regular garlic – much less, though – and some chopped leek.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ to ¾ lb. green garlic, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 qt. vegetable or mild chicken broth
8 to 10 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp. crème fraîche
Warm the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the green garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is soft and translucent. Also, as the garlic cooks, you should notice that its scent changes from raw and sharp to sweeter and more mellow; that’s what you’re after. When the garlic is ready, add the stock, raise the heat a bit, and bring it to a boil. Then adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Add the spinach, and immediately turn off the stove. Let it sit for 5 minutes – not too long, or the spinach will lose its color – and then, working in batches, purée the mixture in a blender
Return the soup to the pot, and place it over low heat to rewarm gently. Add 1 Tbsp. crème fraîche and another pinch or two of salt. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Serve warm or hot, with a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like.
Yield: 4 servings
Chicken With Garlic Scapes & Capers
Posted by Carole Koch
Thanks to contributing editor Lauren White for sharing this recipe!
2 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts, each cut in half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 chopped garlic scapes
1 tablespoons drained capers
Between sheets of plastic wrap slightly flatten chicken. In a large heavy skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the oil over medium high heat.
Sauté chicken until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.
Pour fat from skillet and add the wine, lemon juice, scapes and remaining butter. Bring to a boil, stir in capers, add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken.