Sunday, June 20, 2010

Organice Harvest Box for June 18, 2010

We are missing our Harvest Box photo this week because we took our family camping this weekend and I had a neighbour bring my box inside for me on Friday night. She had all my goodies packed away in my fridge, so I wasn't able to snap a picture for you! It was hot and humid on Friday, so I made sure she came by to bring my food in as soon as it was delivered (my cooler was not available, since we had it with us on our camping trip). If you will not be home when your Harvest Box is delivered, please leave a cooler on your doorstep and your driver will be happy to place the contents of your box inside. Fresh, local produce can wilt and go bad in a short time in hot, Ottawa summer weather.

Before I started receiving the Life Organic delivery service over two years ago, I had no idea what a garlic scape was. And then one lovely day in June I received these curly delights in my Harvest Box.

Yes, these green, curly ribbon-like "things" are garlic scapes. The garlic scape is the "stem"' from which the seed head of a garlic bulb is formed. As the bulb grows and matures, the stem, or stalk, also begins to lengthen. Over time the scape begins to curve. Garlic scapes taste garlicky but have a fresh, green flavouring. They can be used in a variety of dishes, especially where you would want a garlic flavour. A garlic scape is less strong and has less "bite" than regular garlic cloves.

In the past I have most often used my garlic scapes in pesto - it is delicious, light, and a delightful addition to any pasta. I usually use this Garlic Scape Pesto recipe, but any variation will do, and it is usually best to fiddle with the recipe until you find something that you love. I am planning on trying Kalyn's Garlic Scape Pesto this year, as I've been so pleased and impressed with many of her recipes over the past few months.

For an easy, quick appetizer, try making this White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip - the flavour is fantastic and it is a hit at most parties and get-togethers. I am also intrigued by this recipe for Creamy Garlic Scape Soup and would love to try it out if I have enough garlic scapes to go around this week! Great for the barbecue, these Grilled Garlic Scapes are something easy to add to a weeknight meal. More of a pizza lover? Give this Garlic Scape And Ricotta Pizza a go and wow your friends and family. And if you fancy yourself an egg connoisseur, please let me know if you get an opportunity to try out these Zucchini Eggs. They look delicious!

And while we're on the topic of pesto, let's talk about your basil plant! Nothing tastes like fresh basil, and once you go fresh, you will never go back to the dried stuff in a jar (well, unless you absolutely have to). It is easy to keep your basil plant alive - so don't fret if you're not an expert gardener. Basil likes lots of sunlight, and lots of water - keep the soil moist and water it often. If the plant starts to flower, just pinch the bulbs off and your plant will keep growing and growing.

Fresh basil is most often associated with thoughts of home-made pesto. And if you want to try the good stuff, I urge you to give this Homemade Pesto Recipe a go. You'll love it! I tend to chop up basil and throw it in almost anything I'm cooking - pasta dishes, grilled chicken or fish, salads, etc. You can really enjoy the flavour of fresh basil in a simple Caprese Salad, although basil lends itself well to many salad types. This basic Tomato and Basil Crostini is a great appetizer or lunch addition, and the pairing of tomato and basil simply can't be beat. Which is why basil goes so well with so many tomato pasta dishes. For something a little unique, try this Mixed Fresh Herb Pasta.

Looking for something a little different . . . spectacular, maybe? Serve up this Boursin Burger and be ready to be the talk of all your friends - and be sure to have enough on hand for everyone to have seconds. And I just love the sound of these Lemon Basil Snaps - what a beautiful addition to such a light cookie. If I get a chance to make these this week I will most definitely take pictures and share.

Enjoy your produce and have a wonderful week!

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