Monday, July 12, 2010

garlic scape pesto

Garlic scapes are the long, thin curly shoots that spring from the tops of the garlic plants. They have a mellow garlic flavor and can be used in place of scallion, garlic or even onions. They are only in season for June and a bit of July. So get em quick! I made a simple pesto with these ones.  Adding some walnuts and parmesan and a bit of olive oil and salt. That's it. Barely a recipe really. And so good. I added the pesto to pasta one night, a frittata the next and on toast for breakfast the following day. So versatile and lovely. 

8-10 garlic scapes
1/4 cup parmesan 
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts or almonds or any nuts really! 
sea salt

Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until pesto-like. Taste test and see if it needs more salt or olive oil (depending if you like a thinner or thicker pesto) 

Yields about 1 cup and can be stored in an air-tight container for a couple of days. Or frozen for a couple of months. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

banana cinnamon date bread

You know when you buy bananas and you don't eat them fast enough and they become past the point of eating raw, but you're too lazy to make banana bread right away? Well, freeze 'em! I had three bananas in my fridge for well over two months. They were perfectly fine. Super frozen, but fine. Run them over cold water to loosen the skin and then you're ready to make bread. I used olive oil because that's what I had on hand, but canola, vegetable oil or butter would work fine, too. For the sweetener, I used barley malt syrup which is made from soaking barley in water and then heating to prevent from sprouting, which is similar to the process of creating beer. Thus, this bread has a rich tasting, almost stout beer taste, like Guinness. 

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 barley malt syrup*
3/4 cup dates, chopped
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (for dusting on top of loaf)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until very much mashed. Add lemon juice, oil, barley malt and dates. (Tip: Use the same measuring cup for the oil and barley malt. The oil will help the barley malt come out easily, because that stuff is damn sticky.) Mix. In a separate large bowl, stir together the flour, wheat germ, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and mix together until just mixed. Pour into oiled loaf pan. Dust with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Test with a knife to see if done. Makes 1 loaf. 

*You can buy barley malt syrup in any health food store. It's pretty reasonable and much less labor intensive than actually soaking your own barley and making syrup. Because seriously, who's going to do that?