Garlic scapes are the flower top off hardneck garlic. Cut before the plant starts to fully flower, the scapes provide a mild fresh garlic flavor that is great added to any dish where you would use a garlic clove. The sugar content is a bit higher so fresh scapes are best added towards the end of cooking to avoid any burning or bitter flavor. The scapes need to be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and are best used fresh since they do not store like whole garlic bulbs.
All the greens will do best stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Both the Swiss chard and kale are generally stemmed before using. Swiss chard stems are edible so save them for another use. Use chard stems as you would celery. Kale stems, however, don’t make for great eating. If you want to save kale stems, they can be used in vegetable stocks or to flavor any cooking liquid for grains. Red Russian kale is perfect for cooking, whether it is sautéing, grilling, and baking. Swiss chard is similar to spinach and can be used interchangeably.
The salad greens this week are a strong mix of flavors, making them great for pairing with fruit, toasted nuts and your favorite cheese. Fresh apples, cherries (dried or fresh), or pears will add sweetness while toasted hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans add some richness to the salad. Feta, blue cheese, or goat cheese would pair well with any of these flavors.
Native to the East Mediterranean, parsley could be the most popular herb in cooking. Some cuisines use it so abundantly that it takes on the role of vegetable. The leaves can be minced and used fresh to brighten the flavor of sauces and soups. In France you see parsley used in persillade (persil is French for parsley), the traditional garnish composed of fresh parsley and garlic that is added to a dish just before the end of cooking. The stems can be saved and used for adding to stocks or flavoring soup base. If the stem is tender it can be minced and added to your dish. Dried parsley tends to lose flavor quickly so it is best used fresh.
Home-style Hash Browns
Gently scrub potatoes and shred in a food processor or on a box grater. In a colander, rinse potatoes well to remove excess starch. Drain well and squeeze dry. On a preheated pan or griddle fry grated potatoes with oil, salt, and pepper until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through. Some freshly diced garlic scapes added near the end of cooking would make a great addition to a weekend breakfast.
All the rage these days, this healthy snack has been around for years and is a fun, kid-friendly way to prepare the green. This is a basic recipe that can be altered to suit your favorite flavors. Be creative and change around the oil and spices used. The only thing that can go wrong is overcooking the kale. You don’t want to burn the kale, so watch it closely near the end, removing smaller pieces that have cooked faster.
One bunch kale, stemmed and cut into pieces of equal size
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes or smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If needed, wash kale and dry well. Stem kale and cut into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss all with olive oil, salt, pepper, and desired spices. You want the kale lightly coated with oil. Bake kale on a non-insulated pan until crispy, about 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through. Taste for doneness, pulling from once they are lightly crispy
Parsley Sauce (about 1 cup of sauce)
This bright sauce will pair well with grilled vegetables, steamed potatoes, a simple pasta dish, and grilled seafood. Courtesy of The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison and Edward Espe Brown.
2 small garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon dried or fresh tarragon
¾ cup finely chopped parsley
1 large shallot or 4 scallions, finely chopped
Grated peel of 1 lemon
¾ to 1 cup olive oil
Red wine vinegar to taste
Pound the garlic in a mortar with the sea salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and tarragon to make a smooth paste. Add about 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and work it into the paste. Stir in the rest of the parsley with the shallot or scallions, the lemon peel, and the olive oil. Let this mixture stand covered while the flavors infuse for an hour or more. Just before serving, add the vinegar and salt to taste.