I was tickled to have been invited by Heather, of Girlichef fame, to participate in a link-up dedicated to "REAL food" which was "the brainchild of Alex from A Moderate Life." Real food is just what you think it is -- homemade, wholesome, fresh, delicious. No hydrogenation, none of that high fructose corn syrup nonsense, no preservatives. Just food.
And so, what better way to become initiated into the fold than by writing about my Saturday trip to the Farmers Market??? Oh, I absolutely adore the Farmers Market! The colors, the aromas, the flowers, the vegetables, the herbs, the baked goods, the honey, the syrup ... it leads me into temptation and makes me want to spend a fortune that I just don't have.
But I only needed $3 to realize my goal on Saturday: I came for, I saw, and I went home with garlic scapes -- the usually discarded long, green, twirling tops of garlic. Two bunches of 'em, 'cause their season is short but they supposedly freeze well (never tried it, but I've heard it). I may not even get around to freezing them, though, because there are so many things you can do with them:
- chop them into small pieces and add them to salads or soups
- chop them into itty-bitty pieces and stir them into sour cream for a dip
- puree them with oil and toasted pine nuts to make a pesto (see my fellow Michigan Lady Food Blogger Diana Dyer's recipe, which has been receiving rave reviews among other friends who've been trying it!)
Oh, the list goes on and on! Simply use garlic scapes in any way that you would use green onions or garlic.
As I was giddily making my purchase on Saturday morning (I think it was from the Frog Holler stall, but in all honesty I was so focused on my mission that I'm not 100% positive), the woman next to me was wondering what in the world I was holding and how to use them. I told her that I intended to use some for my lunch that day by chopping them and sauteeing them in olive oil, then pouring that fabulous mix over pasta. Really, it's the little things -- there is no need for anything fancy or elaborate when an ingredient as glorious as garlic scapes is available!
And so, here is a meal that was truly so exceptional that I amazed even myself! Who needs a drive-thru or a drive-up or delivery when it's so easy to make something that's both nutritious and delicious??? I served the pasta with a fabulous Kalamata olive breadstick from Mill Pond Bakery; each could be happily devoured on its own, but together they are a thing of great beauty ... :)
Spaghetti with Garlic Scapes
12 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large garlic scape, chopped fine
a bit each of kosher salt and pepper
handful of parsley, chopped
few sprigs of oregano, chopped
add-ins for my lunch that Jeremy doesn't like:
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
2 baby Portobello mushrooms, diced
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Bring water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic scape, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until the scape pieces have softened. Turn off heat and stir in parsley and oregano.
Drain pasta and pour the garlic scape oil over it; stir to mix well. Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan.
If you want the add-ins: Saute the tomatoes, mushrooms and red pepper flakes in a tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan for a few minutes, until the tomatoes have wilted and the mushrooms are golden. Stir them into the pasta along with the garlic scape oil.
Serves 2-4, depending upon portion size and how greedily you inhale this once you find out how amazing it is!
This recipe also happily belongs with the Presto Pasta Night link-up, so be sure to visit that one, too, which is being hosted by The Sweet Kitchen this week ....
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