Ramblings.....frugal living and garlic scapes May 02 2017, 0 Comments

We garden. Always have. Even when we lived in the city, in an apartment I had containers filled with veggies and herbs. The need to garden runs through my blood. I blame it on my upbringing. Raised on 23 acres of land, growing almost all of our own food, even our own feed for chickens and pigs, was just a way of life. So was being frugal. My dad use to say the only thing you wasted on a pig was its squeal. Yea I know gross lol. But pretty much true. 


Growing up on our little farm, my family was frugal before frugal was cool. Our water came from a spring, so you did not waste a drop. You ate any and all left overs from any meal during the following days. You mended and repaired instead of buying new. You also used every part, of any plant you grew. We saved seeds. We preserved food with canning, drying and freezing.  We used wild herbs for medicine. We lived a frugal life.  

I have carried many aspects of my childhood over into my current life.  From simple living to gardening to making sure nothing goes to waste. That includes any and all veggies that grown in the garden and trying to use every part of that veggie. A good example is when we grow beets. I don't just use the roots. I love using the green tops for dishes. One thing I know for sure is that if we cant use some part of a veggie we grow, the rabbits we raise sure will. Frugal.  


This past week I found myself with an abundance of garlic scapes from the organic, heirloom garlic we grow. We grow lots of heirloom garlic so there is plenty for our Honey Garlic and Cider Elixir. Just like we make the apple cider that goes in...but I digress :) Back to the garlic scapes. Garlic scapes  are the curly tipped, garlickly tasting green “stem or flower-stalk” that grow from the hardneck garlic varieties. When you harvest your garlic scapes, can determine the use. If you harvest your scapes when they are young and tender, you can chop them into salads or use them as a topping, as you would use scallions. More mature scapes can be sauteed lightly and used over pasta, with eggs, mixed with cooking greens, fermented or pretty much in any dish that would be complemented by garlic. Or you could take the young scapes and make a couple of big ole batches of garlic scape pesto. Which is exactly what I did....using every last one of the garlic scapes. A delicious gourmet food, made from garden extras, at little cost. Now that is frugality at its finest.


Even if you do not grow your own garlic you can find garlic scapes at your local farmers market. If you get a chance grab a bunch and give them a try. Here is my recipe for garlic scape pesto


1 cup garlic scapes, sliced crosswise (about 10 to 12 scapes)
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Juice of one lemon

Place the garlic scapes in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds.
Add the sunflower seeds and pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the olive oil and process on high for 15 seconds.
Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until the ingredients are combined.
Add the lemon juice, and process until reaching the desired consistency.
Add salt to taste and serve immediately.   
If your are a big fan of garlic this is AMAZING. If you would like less of a garlic taste simply use half garlic scapes and half basil in the recipe. 


We love slathering this on grilled sourdough bread, tossed in pasta, mixed with goat cheese as a spread, use as a dip with tortilla chips, mixed with homemade mayo as a dressing in shrimp salad.... I can go on and on. Good thing it freezes well and will last us well into next winter.