Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Garlic Scape Pesto

The weather in Iowa has sure been interesting lately. We've had obscene amounts of rain, flooding and damaging winds throughout the whole state. I feel very fortunate that we've only had a tiny bit of water in our basement compared to the nightmare others are dealing with.

Looking on the bright side, I think we're in the clear, at least for a few days. The sun's been shining and the temps are absolutely perfect. I was able to open the windows yesterday and expect to have our air off for most of the week if not longer. Can't ask for anything better in July!

Do you make your own pesto? I think it's actually kind of expensive to purchase in the store. I don't buy it often, but I thought I remember paying $3 or $4 for a tiny little jar.

You can make it with just about any sort of green herb or vegetable; whether it be traditional basil, kale or garlic scapes like I did. Garlic scapes are still pretty new to me. We started receiving them in our CSA last year. Of course I would use them in recipes that called for garlic and I remember chopping up most of them and freezing. Then when I needed garlic, I could just pull some out from the freezer.

Last week we received our first bundle of the season and our farmers suggested making pesto with them. I loved how the pesto turned out, we had this wonderful garlic fragrance throughout the house. My first batch made right at one cup, plenty for me to freeze for the time being. I like freezing it in small Ziploc baggies, then I can thaw and snip the corner for easy removing.

So what can I use pesto in? Well for starters, reserve a 1/4 cup for tomorrow's recipe. I'll be sharing a fabulous meatball recipe that you'll want to try.

Grilled bacon caprese sandwiches are one you have to make when you've got fresh tomatoes from the garden

Pesto-chicken pasta is another great freezer meal that we love

Toss with cooked pasta and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese for a light meal

Drizzle over vegetables or grilled meat

Slather on pizza instead of a traditional tomato sauce

I'm sure there are a ton more ideas for using pesto. One thing is for sure, you need to make yourself a batch. If you've got an ample supply of basil growing in the garden, put it to use. Use whatever you've got on hand.

Garlic Scape Pesto

4-5 tender garlic scapes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sunflower seeds {use any sort of nuts on hand}

Pulse garlic scapes in a food processor until finely chopped. Add in olive oil, Parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds. Process until well combined and pesto reaches your desired consistency. I added one more tablespoon of olive oil.

Divide pesto into 1/4 cup increments and put into snack size Ziploc baggies. Smooth out to remove any air and seal shut. Make sure to label with contents and date. Store in freezer until ready to use.

When ready to use, just thaw and snip one corner of baggie for easy removal. Makes 1 cup of pesto.

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