Tag Archives: nut free

Garlic Scape Pesto (Gluten, Yeast, Sugar, and Nut Free Too!)

scapes1Good day everyone. Our weekly CSA farm share has been providing us with a bounty of produce. Most of the vegetables are tried and true favorites like basil and kale. However, some are unidentifiable that require some research before preparing for dinner. This happened when we received garlic scapes, the veggie in the left of this photo.

According to my CSA, garlic scapes are flower stalks of hardneck garlic plants even though they do not produce flowers. The scapes appear about one month after the first leaves form. By cutting off the garlic scapes, more energy can be used by the plant to grow larger garlic bulbs. The scapes are edible and can be used in any recipe that calls for garlic.

scapes2If your garlic scapes are tender, you can chop them and use them as is, and with mature scapes a light saute will make them ready for use. Garlic scapes are great mixed with basil to form pesto. The taste is very earthy and “green.” If you don’t have garlic scapes, garlic cloves will work just as well in this recipe.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or any favorite cheese)
1 bunch basil
1 bunch chopped garlic scapes (or 3 chopped cloves of garlic)
1/3 cup olive oil
lemon juice (from about 1/4 lemon)
pinch of salt

Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until you have a desired consistency. You many want to add a bit more olive oil or reduce the amount of cheese to 1/4 cup for a thinner pesto.

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Fall Equinox Favorites: (Gluten/Sugar/Nut Free) Pesto and Watermelon Granita

rosesHappy Fall Equinox, everyone! Our weather is absolutely spectacular and we are enjoying a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. SensitiveHusband and I are stretching out the summer feeling by being outside and making some fresh foods that freeze well. These roses are from my garden – they smell like honey and look pretty and delicate.

pestoOne of the summer foods that we have been consistently eating is pesto. We like fresh pesto as a replacement for mayonnaise or mustard on a sandwich, and it’s also great on a cracker or carrot stick. Pesto is really quick to make although the first time I felt like making it I did not have any pine nuts, a common ingredient, on hand. So I found inspiration from the Farmers’ Almanac – and used chickpeas instead! Here is my interpretation of a summer favorite that can easily be frozen and savored throughout the cooler months.

Nut-Free Pesto (or Pistou) Ingredients:
1 cup fresh basil, washed
1/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed
1/3 cup grated cheese (I like Parmesan and Pecorino Romano)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
pinch of kosher salt
juice from 1/4 lemon

To prepare, place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for later use.

granitaAnother way to prolong the summer foods is by making a granita, which is similar to a frozen ice. The results for this next recipe is from you and everyone who shared an opinion to the poll question: What is your favorite summertime food? The results were close, although watermelon won out with 27% of the votes. I found a recipe for a watermelon granita from Ellie Krieger, and instead of using cane sugar I used agave nectar. This is a nice way to sweeten watermelon that is not quite as flavorful as it was during the height of the summer, and you can keep it frozen for awhile and enjoy as the temperatures turn cooler. The first time I made the granita, I thought the flavor of the mint was overwhelming so the recipe below tones down the amount used.

Watermelon Granita Ingredients:
4 cups seeded, cubed watermelon
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/8-1/4 cup mint, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup agave nectar

To prepare, puree watermelon in a food processor. Strain puree through a sieve and strain out solids, forcing liquid out with a wooden spoon. Discard solids. Combine the watermelon puree, lime juice, mint and agave nectar in a 9 by 13-inch metal pan. Place mixture in the freezer, scraping thoroughly with a fork every 30 minutes for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the granita resembles coarse crystals. Scrape 1 last time and spoon into parfait glasses or bowls. Top with a mint sprig.

Since it is the Fall Equinox and the season for apples and pears, it is time for a new poll! What is your favorite way to enjoy apples and pears? Do you like to eat them straight from the tree, or do you prefer to indulge in a pie or other dessert? Please vote for your favorite treat by clicking on my home page, choosing your answer, and clicking ‘vote.’