Happy days are here again!
This past Saturday was the first official week of our annual CSA membership! To celebrate we used a portion of our share to create a pesto for a potluck celebration at our local dairy, Mecox Bay Farm. Garlic scapes are perfect for making pesto, their flavor is slightly spicy and bright. The peas shoots lend a hint of sweetness. Experiment with any combination of herbs, greens, cheese and nuts. It’s all good!
CSA Week 1: garlic scapes, pea shoots, asian greens, 3 different lettuce varieties, green garlic, rainbow chard, kale.
GARLIC SCAPE AND PEA SHOOT PESTO PASTA SALAD
2 cups assorted seasonal vegetables such as snow peas and asparagus, trimmed
1 pound pasta (I like a fun shape for this – we used Cavatappi.)
8 garlic scapes
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
red pepper flakes (to taste)
small handful of fresh basil, chopped
1/4 pound fresh pea shoots (about 2 cups), roughly chopped
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
small handful of toasted pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Blanch the snow peas and asparagus for about 3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water or shock in an ice water bath.
To the boiling water now add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set vegetables and cooked pasta aside.
In the meantime, roughly chop the garlic scapes and place in a medium saute pan. Cover the scapes with the oil, add the oregano and red pepper flakes and cook, over medium-low heat, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let the scape oil cool slightly, then fold in your basil and pea shoots to wilt just a bit.
Transfer the entire content of the pan into a food processor, add the cheese and optional nuts, and blitz until well-combined into a pesto. If you need to add more oil to create a smooth texture, simply stream in a little at a time.
Toss together the vegetables, pasta and pesto in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. If you have some edible arugula or mustard flowers, scatter over the top for a pretty presentation!
Serves 4-6 as a main.