Please meet Debi Shawcross a chef, author, instructor and amazing party thrower. We’ve formed a bond over our love of great food and entertaining. I love her fresh and casual approach to parties, as opposed to the overly ornate and highly complicated party variety. Her take on fresh ingredients always culminates in a dish that tastes as delicious as it looks.
This spring my garden welcomed a surprise guest: garlic. I did not plant it, so how it got there is still a mystery to me. I guess it could have been a bird who deposited the seeds, or maybe a bunny. Whoever it was, they picked the right garden in which to poop, because I couldn’t have been happier when I discovered the garlic scapes shooting up from the soil, a sign that garlic bulbs were maturing underground.
Cutting the garlic scapes allows the underground garlic heads to grow nice and fat. The plant can focus on the work of growing the bulb below instead of sending nutrients to the flowering and seed building upstairs.
So why am I so excited to have garlic scapes in my own backyard?
They are amazingly delicate and mild in flavor. A versatile cross between garlic cloves, green onions, and asparagus, they can be can eaten raw, roasted, sauteed, stir fried, and used in pesto, salads, soups, egg dishes, and dips. You name it; if it’s something garlic would enhance, garlic scapes will make it even better.
Have you tried them?
If you are in a CSA, chances are you will find garlic scapes in one of your springtime boxes or in a bin at your favorite farmer’s market during their short season, which lasts until early June.
There’s also a pretty good chance you will come across some fresh asparagus and baby potatoes, so today’s recipe is all about a salad you can make by tossing them all together with an herbed vinaigrette recipe. Alive with color and zip, this salad is one of my favorite springtime staples.
Your relationship can be a lot like opening up your CSA box. On any given day, you never know just what you’ll find, and may not be sure what you are going to do with all of the things you discover. There will be bright, colorful, and even spicy days, and you will have some days that are understated and ho-hum; in need of a little flavor boost.
Take care to savor your someone special and appreciate what you have, never taking for granted all that is good.
Recipe: Baby Potato and Asparagus Salad with Garlic Scapes and Herb Vinaigrette
- 2 Pounds Baby Potatoes (I used gemstone)
- 1 Pound Asparagus (ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Garlic Scapes
- 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 2 Teaspoons Lemon Zest
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Shallots
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Tarragon
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Italian Parsley
- 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan; fill with enough cold water to cover 2-inches above potatoes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil over medium high heat. Cook potatoes until just tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and cool completely. Cut cooled potatoes in half and place in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to boil. Have a medium bowl filled with ice water ready. Add asparagus to boiling water and cook 2 minutes. Remove asparagus from saucepan and immediately transfer to bowl with ice water to stop cooking process. Drain cooled asparagus and transfer to bowl with potatoes.
- Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
For Salad Assembly:
- Add dressing to bowl with potatoes and asparagus. Add 1/2 of garlic scapes to bowl and toss well. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining garlic scapes.
Preparation time: 10 Minutes
Cooking time: 20 Minutes
Diet type: Vegan
Number of servings (yield): 6
Meal type: dinner
Culinary tradition: USA (General)