Flower of the Day: Agapanthus

Agapanthus africanus, ‘Lily of the Nile’

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I recently came across this flower while travelling in Saumur, France.

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Hardy to zone 8, this flower is better suited to growing in a pot in temperatures that fall below 5 degrees celsius.

This flower is native to Southern Africa, but has naturalized in other warm climates, including Northern California.

Lily of the Nile is a beautiful and elegant flower, consisting of a tough centre stem, and an almost firework display of funnel-shaped flowers.

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I have seen this flower in purple and white colours.  It is also available in blue.

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Agapanthus can grow up to 2 feet high and as wide as 2 to 4 feet, once established. It prefers full to partial sun and consistent watering (especially when grown in pots).

In cooler climates, simply bring your Agapanthus pots indoors and store in a cool garage. Do not remove any foliage until the following spring.

In the spring, fresh green shoots will emerge. Water and take outside to a sheltered location, to ease acclimating to outside conditions.

Happy Gardening!

Julia

 

Mushroom Barley Soup…a Russian family favourite!

I spent the last week and a half in France, visiting my Russian family and got to enjoy some memorable dishes from my childhood. One of my favourites is Mushroom Barley Soup. This particular soup is a rare treat for me. It is so delicious and aromatic and has a wonderful texture.

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The recipe uses dried porcini mushrooms and does not require pureeing. The smell of the soup is incredible! The mushrooms are highly aromatic and their flavour really comes through in this soup. I love the texture of these mushrooms, paired with barley. To add thickness to the soup, potatoes are cooked in the broth then mashed, creating a thicker texture.

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Reconstituted Porcini Mushrooms

Adding a dollop of sour cream to your bowl will lighten the colour of the soup and give it a slightly tangy flavour.  I prefer to eat it this way, however, you can leave it out.

If you enjoy mushroom soup, you need to give this recipe a try!

*Note:  Dried porcini mushrooms contain a lot of sand, since they are harvested wild in forests.  These mushrooms need to be well cleaned.  It can be a bit of a lengthy process, but it’s worth it.

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Sand and debris left at the bottom of the pot.

Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 packages of dry porcini mushrooms – 25-30g each (*I used 3 packages of porcini, 1 package of chanterelle and 1 package of lobster mushrooms – you can use less mushrooms, if you prefer)
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup rinsed pearl barley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp grape seed or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • optional: sour cream

Directions:

Place all dried mushrooms in a large bowl and cover with warm water.  Leave to reconstitute for at least 1 hour.  (*you will immediately begin to smell the aroma of these mushrooms; this is when my mouth starts to water and I can’t wait to taste this soup!)

Strain the mushrooms from the liquid, then reserve all the liquid. (*except for the very bottom of the pot)

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Slice any large mushrooms and look each one over for dirt and debris; rinse any dirty mushrooms, then place all into a small pot.

Cover the mushrooms with water and cook for 5 minutes, to soften them slightly.

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Strain mushrooms for a second time and put them aside in a bowl; add this liquid to the original reserved liquid

Filter out all reserved mushroom liquid, for any sand or other debris and pour clear liquid into a large soup pot.

Add pearl barley to the pot, then place pot on the stove.

After bringing the mushroom liquid to a boil, add whole potatoes, grated carrots and bay leaves, then cook over medium heat.

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In the meantime, heat oil and butter in a large frying pan until butter melts, then saute the onions.

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Once the onions have softened slightly, add in the strained mushrooms and continue to saute; by sautéing the mushrooms, their flavour and aroma is released

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Season mushroom mixture with salt and pepper and add it to the pot after the mushrooms have softened.

Scrape off browned mushroom bits from the pan, using a few spoons of the broth, then pour this into soup pot.

Feel free to add boiled water to the pot, if you would like a more liquid soup.

When potatoes are cooked, mash them in the pot, using a potato masher.

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Continue to cook the soup until the pearl barley is soft and ready.

Season soup with salt and or pepper, if needed.

Add chopped parsley to the pot and cook for a few more minutes.

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When serving, top each bowl with a spoonful of sour cream.

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Mushroom barley soup served with a dollop of sour cream.

Serve with sliced baguette or rye bread.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do!

Happy eating and gardening!

Julia🙂

Garden harvest update…

How’s your garden growing? Have you been enjoying the fruits of your labour?

Here’s an update of some the vegetables I’ve been harvesting. Many other vegetables are ready for harvest as well, so I will be picking them soon.

Yesterday’s garden harvest – cucumbers, carrots, cucamelons, scarlet runner beans and lavender.

If you prefer to use your scarlet beans as dry beans, simply leave them on the vine, until the pods are brown and dry.  Otherwise, harvest and eat them as you would green beans.

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Scarlet Runner Beans

Are you growing cucamelons?

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Cucamelons

If you are growing lavender, do you harvest it? How do you use it?  I would love to know!

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Happy Gardening!

Julia 😊

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Cucumbers (different varieties)

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Carrots

Tomato patch progress

It’s the beginning of August and tomato season has been well under way for the past two months.

This year, we have had one of the driest and warmest summers of the past many years.  Our grass has looked like straw since early July!  I’ve done my best at keeping the garden watered, but some plants are definitely stressed.  A couple trees have already started to lose their leaves.  This almost never happens.

The tomato patch is looking healthy, however, which is a nice change from previous years.  I am keeping my eye out for any signs of blight, since this has been my greatest garden enemy.  It’s not over yet though, but I feel with all the preventative measures I’ve taken (see my previous post on growing tomatoes), I might have a chance with this dry weather.

Here’s an update on some of tomato varieties I’m growing.  It’s been two months since they’ve been planted out in the garden.  You will see that tomatoes are developing on the various plants, however, none are ready for harvest.

‘Livingston’s Favorite’ Tomato (developed in 1883 by Ohio tomato breeder, Alexander Livingston; was once considered one of the most handsome tomatoes):

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‘Livingston’s Favorite’ Tomato

‘Sungold (F1)’ Tomato (said to be one of the sweetest, best tasting cherry tomatoes; has an  orange colour) :

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‘Sungold (F1)’ Tomato

‘Black Prince’ Tomato (a plum or heart shaped tomato from Siberia, has a dark chocolate brown colour):

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‘Black Prince’ Tomato

‘Pertsevidny’ Tomato (this tomato has a pepper shape and is supposed to grow quite large):

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‘Pertsevidny’ Tomato

‘Belarusian Heart’ Tomato (a variety discovered at a farmer’s market in Minsk, Belarus, that’s been introduced to North America; has a mild, sweet flavour):

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‘Belarusian Heart’ Tomato

‘100’s & 1000’s’ Tomato (a seed variety from Suttons Seeds UK – determinate, will produce hundreds and thousands of tiny tomatoes):

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‘100’s & 1000’s’ Tomato

Michael Pollan’ Tomato (a tomato variety bred at Wild Boar Farms and named after the famed activist and author Michael Pollan, for his contributions to the sustainability movement.):

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‘Michael Pollan’ Tomato

‘Japanese Black Trifele’ Tomato (develops a purple-brown colour, with green shoulders):

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‘Japanese Black Trifele’ Tomato

‘Reisetomate’ Tomato (this tomato looks like a cluster of cherry tomatoes all fused together; tomato pulls apart easily without a need for a knife, great on picnics):

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‘Reisetomate’ Tomato

‘Cosmic Eclipse’ Tomato (this tomato will ripen to a combination of all colours – brown, purple, green, red) :

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‘Cosmic Eclipse’ Tomato

‘Bellstar’ Tomato (a determinate, dwarf tomato variety that ripens early and is mature in 65 days) :

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‘Bellstar’ Tomato

Living in a zone 5a climate, our season begins in early June and finishes by the end of September.  So, we only have 3.5 to 4 months for tomato growing.  My tomato plants grow out in the open, in raised beds.  They have strong t-bar supports at the ends of the beds, which hold up plastic tomato netting.  The soil is covered in black plastic biodegradable mulch and I water directly into the planting holes, avoiding any water on the foliage.

How is your garden growing?  Have you started harvesting tomatoes?  What are your favourite varieties?

Please share your experience in the comments below.

Happy Gardening!

Julia

How to Harvest Garlic (video)

The first year I planted garlic, I found the entire process extremely confusing.  I had so many questions, including “How do I plant the cloves, which direction is up, do I take the cloves apart, what about the papery skin, do I need to keep it on?”  I felt overwhelmed.

After I figured that part out and the garlic grew, I needed to figure out how to harvest it? Could I pull it straight out of the ground? When was it ready for harvest? What do I do with the garlic after harvest? There were so many questions.

Over the years and with lots of trial and error, I finally figured it out!  Knowing how to harvest the right way, removes a lot of stress from the process.  It can even be fun!

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Some freshly harvested garlic – 2016

If you find yourselves scratching your heads, not knowing the right time to harvest, how to harvest, then what to do with the freshly dug garlic after harvest, check out my video showing you exactly what to do and which tool to use.

Video: How to Harvest Garlic

I hope it answers some questions.  If you would like to add any tips, please do so in the comments section below.  If this post was interesting, please let me know by clicking on the “Like” button.

Happy Gardening!

Julia

Surprise in the Tomato Patch!

The other day in the garden was a beautiful day! The sky was clear, the birds were chirping, I could hear the owls hooting in the background, it was nice and warm.  The perfect day to spend some time in the garden.

I hadn’t watered the garden in a while, so I started on the carrots.  As I moved along the garden, through the zucchini and squash, kohlrabi and peas, beets and celery, I turned towards the potatoes.  What I saw next almost knocked me over!

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Tomato Hornworm Caterpillar

It was thick! It was green! It was stripy! It had a sharp blue horn on one end! It was a Tomato Hornworm Caterpillar! AWCK! I almost fell over in surprise! I’d heard the nightmare stories about these creatures, but I’d never really experienced one in person.  This one was four inches long and about half an inch thick! It was huge and it was eating my potato plant!

Earlier that day, I noticed half the potato bed had died back and turned yellow, but I hadn’t thought anything of it.  I just figured that the potatoes were due for harvesting. So this tomato hornworm really surprised me.  My next thought was, “how many more are there??”

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Potato bed – I thought it was ready for harvesting, then I took a closer look and found 5 more Tomato Hornworm Caterpillars!

I ripped off the first branch, with tomato hornworm in tow.  There was no way I was touching it! I decided to bring this creepy crawly to the chickens.  I was sure they would attack it!  However, only Joanne chicken responded.

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First tomato hornworm found and branch ripped off potato plant! About to take this caterpillar to the chickens.

I then headed back to the garden and proceeded to look for more.  Grabbing a basket, I looked over the dying side of the potato bed.  I quickly found five more large sized tomato hornworm caterpillars!  My skin was crawling at this point, even my hair was standing on end!

At this point, my daughter Georgia joined me in the garden and used her eagles eye to scan over the tomato beds.  Together we collected four more stems with medium to large-sized tomato hornworm caterpillars. I was done at this point.  That was 10 tomato hornworms in less than an hour and I couldn’t stomach anymore.

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Basket is ready to take to the chickens!  This batch of hornworm caterpillars are larger and heavier.

The second time around, the chickens were not as interested in this gift.  Typically, chickens will fight each other for any bug or wormy creature.  They are excellent predators and dig and scratch the ground regularly looking for insects.  So, I was surprised to see them uninterested.  I had to work to get their attention.  Eventually, after no response from the chickens, my shoe had to finish them off.

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“Attila the Hen” looking at me and saying, “No, thanks!”

Upon returning to the garden, I found two more tomato hornworm caterpillars in the grape vine. What this told me was that there are tomato hornworm caterpillars all over the garden, and I need to be vigilant daily at inspecting all the tomato, potato and other solanaceous plants for any sign of more tomato hornworms.

What are Tomato Hornworm caterpillars?

The tomato hornworm caterpillar is the larva of the Five-Spotted Hawk Moth.  The largest moth in the garden!  This moth has a two generation life cycle in one season.  In the spring, moths emerge from overwintered locations in the soil.  Female moths mate and deposit their eggs singly, on the lower and upper leaf surfaces of different plants.  After two days, these eggs hatch and baby caterpillars begin to feed on the plant foliage.  The larger they get, the more vigorously they eat.  As they grow, they develop eight, white ‘v-shaped’ markings on each side of their body.  These markings assist them in camouflaging into the tomato foliage. They also develop a spike or “horn” on the tail end.  For tomato hornworm caterpillars, this horn is dark blue in colour.

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A younger and smaller Tomato Hornworm Caterpillar.

Within 3 to 4 weeks, the caterpillar will have reached its full size of four inches and will drop off the plant and burrow into the soil to pupate.  Two weeks later, moths emerge from the soil and begin their second generation. This is typically around mid-summer.  By early fall, caterpillars are fully grown and will pupate in the soil until the following spring.

What to look for on your plants?

I have been battling hornworms for close to a week now. Here’s what I look for to help me spot them.

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Tomato Hornworm Caterpillar poo on the leaves.

  1. Caterpillar poo on the plant leaves and soil below.  The poo is a small dark green or black chunk, a few millimetres in size.  As the caterpillar grows, their poo grows with them and becomes wider and longer.
  2. If you listen carefully, you can hear a faint clicking sound.  I noticed this noise with the first caterpillar I picked off.  It was chewing on the leaf as I was making my way to the chicken coop.  It’s very faint, but if you hear it you will know there are hornworms on your plant.
  3. Hornworm caterpillars dislike the sun and heat of the day and will typically hide on the lower leaves of the plant.  I have found it easier to spot them in the early evening when they emerge to the upper parts of the plant.  However if you can’t wait (and I can’t and want them off ASAP!) look a little lower into the plant and on the underside of the leaves.
  4. Look for signs of destruction.  It’s harder to find damage when the caterpillars are small.  However, once they get big and fat, they will have chewed off the tops of the plant.  Look for plant damage and you will know there are hornworms living on that plant.

If you follow these steps and in this order, starting with trails of poo, you will have a better chance of finding them.

What do Hornworm caterpillars eat?

Tomato hornworms prefer tomatoes and other solanaceous plants, such as potatoes, eggplants, peppers and deadly nightshade.  However, I found two on my grape vine and read that they may even eat collard greens.

How to get rid of them?

The first line of defence is to be vigilant with daily scanning of your garden.  Once tomato hornworms are present, they take work to get rid of.  I have a large tomato patch of 50 plants, in different parts of the garden.  I have found them throughout, as well as in the potatoes and grape vine.  I try to scan all these plants daily, as well as keep an eye on other plants in the garden.

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Tomato Hornworm Caterpillar poo on the plastic mulch beneath the tomato plants.

If you do find them, here’s what you can do with them:

  1. Remove hornworms from leaves, or cut the leaf off with the hornworm.
  2. Either step on the hornworm, cut it in half or feed it to your chickens.

However, if you find a hornworm caterpillar with white eggs on its back, leave it alone.  These are the eggs of the Braconid wasp.  The larva that hatch from these eggs will feed on the inside of the hornworm caterpillar, until they are ready to pupate. These wasps are beneficial for the garden and will seek out and feed on other hornworms. So far, none of the hornworm caterpillars I have found, have any of these eggs on their backs.

I hope this information helps you in your garden.  Leave me a comment if you have tomato hornworm caterpillars now, or have had them in the past.  What have you done to get rid of them?

Good luck and happy gardening!

Julia

9 steps to healthier tomato plants

Every year, we gardeners dream with anticipation about growing tomatoes.  We seek out and find tomato seeds to the most delicious and unusual tomatoes.  Some of us prefer paste tomatoes, for canning sauce.  Others prefer a large and juicy beefsteak tomato, to slice up and top our burgers, add to salads or simply slice up and eat as is.  Others still, prefer cherry tomatoes.  They are so sweet, we can pop them off the vine and right into our mouths.

Tigerella Tomato | beetsandbutter.com - a vegetable gardening adventure

Homegrown Tomatoes

In all my years of growing tomatoes, every year has been a different experience.  I’ve had moments of excitement and others of super disappointment and sadness.

My first year growing tomatoes seemed so easy.  I planted store-bought seedlings into the ground, without much thought.  I propped tomato cages over them and watered from above.  The best part was how they surprised me with the most delicious tomatoes.  The following year was just as simple.  The tomato plants produced huge tomatoes, all disease free.  I hadn’t heard of blight, or hornworms, or anything else that befalls tomato plants.  I felt lucky!

However, when we moved to the country and I planted my first tomato beds, I experienced the most severe case of Late Blight, I could have ever imagined.  I was devastated and frustrated.  My tomato plants became a smelly and slimy mess!  The tomatoes were covered in soft brown and black spots, that quickly turned to mould.  The plant leaves and stems developed black circular patches, surrounded by white fuzzy spores.  I managed to harvest a few tomatoes, but most plants didn’t produce even one edible ripe tomato.

Blight mark on tomato. | beetsandbutter.com

Blight mark on tomato.

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Tomato plants have succumbed to Late Blight – you can see the stems and leaves are engulfed in black and the tomatoes are covered in brown blemishes.

I almost gave up, forever! But I loved homegrown tomatoes, more than I hated the risk of blight.  That winter I did a lot of research on how best to plant my tomatoes, in order to avoid late blight. Here’s what I learned:

9 steps to healthier tomato plants:

  1. Keep tomatoes off the soil.
  2. Keep tomato leaves off the soil.
  3. Water tomato plants from below to avoid wetting the leaves.
  4. When watering, prevent the soil from splashing up on the tomato plant.
  5. Properly stake your tomato plants, to keep them upright.
  6. Prune off sucker stems (stems that develops in the joints of the main stem, where stem and leaf attaches) for indeterminate plants.
  7. Keep appropriate spacing between tomato plants – I plant my tomatoes 2 to 3 feet apart.
  8. Bag and throw away any diseased foliage, plants and fruit, instead of throwing them in the compost bin.
  9. Rotate your tomato plants every year, instead of planting in the same location.
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Last year’s tomato beds – black plastic biodegradable mulch is covering the beds, tomato plants are staked with T-stakes, plastic netting, and bamboo stakes for support.

Here is what I did differently last year:

  1. I covered the soil with biodegradable black plastic mulch, prior to planting the tomatoes.
  2. Using a dibbler or trowel, I made small holes in the plastic for planting the tomato plants into, thereby keeping the soil covered with the plastic, as much as possible.
  3. I planted the tomatoes with at least 2-3 feet between each plant.
  4. I staked the tomato plants using a combination of T-stakes at the ends of the beds, to hold up plastic trellis netting and bamboo stakes at each plant.
  5. I attached the tomato plants to the netting, using tomato clips.
  6. I watered each tomato plant from below and directly into the planting hole, often leaving the watering wand to water slowly and for at least several minutes.
  7. I removed all suckers and lower leaves, so no leaves ever lay on the plastic.
  8. All tomato plants were bagged and removed at the end of the season.

Late Blight ended up appearing on my plants last year, as well as everyone else’s that I know.  However, my tomatoes did not show signs of late blight until after it was rampant throughout our area.  Some tomatoes contracted the virus quicker than others, while some held off and continued to produce an abundance of tomatoes that I was able to process into sauce.  I believe it was the above 8 steps that helped delay the full onset of tomato late blight.

The varieties that contracted the worst late blight were Cherokee Purple, Costoluto Genovese and Thessaloniki.  The least affected and most productive tomatoes were Amish Paste, Opalka, Juane Flamme, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Blush, Pol Big, White Cherry and Moneymaker.

Overall, I was happy with my tomato harvest last year.  Many of the plants continued to produce tomatoes until early fall.  All the tomatoes had to be removed and bagged, like the previous year, except they weren’t as slimy, stinky and messy. This year, I have rotated my tomato plants to different beds, covered the beds with black plastic biodegradable mulch and staked them as the year before.  Everything is looking healthy for now, but I’m keeping an eagle eye on those tomato plants. I’m being hopeful that a hot dry summer might slow the attack of Late Blight!

Are you growing tomatoes? Do you have any tips for growing healthy tomatoes?  

Let’s chat!

Julia🙂

chicken coop funnies…(open to see video)

My 13 laying hens are a noisy bunch in the mornings. Our coop comes equipped with five nesting boxes. However, only four of them get used and one sits empty. The girls enter the fifth box, sniff around, then leave.

It seems that each hen has her own favourite box. If their box is taken, they will wait around until it becomes free, instead of using the fifth box. It’s the strangest thing!

All the hens have names, Joannie, Franny, Atilla, Bad, Napoleon, Georgia, Agatha, Rosie, Martha and Martha (don’t ask – they look identical, so I can’t tell them apart!), Margaret, Betty Whyte, and Crazy Pants.

Watch what Crazy Pants does every morning when her box is taken! She is relentless until she gets her way! It’s hilarious!

Let me know what you think, by leaving a comment below. 😊

Happy Day & Happy Gardening!

Julia

 

Garlic Scape Butter

Garlic scapes have this delicious, mild garlic flavour, that is so fresh, that the smell alone reminds me of summer.  If you’re looking to extend the young garlic season, try making a compound butter.

Compound butter is made by combining softened room temperature butter, with finely chopped herbs.  In this case, I am using garlic scapes.

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Garlic Scapes, cleaned, trimmed and ready for preparation.

Keep your butter in the freezer, then slice off a piece at a time and place it under the skin of chicken, before roasting in the oven.  I like to cook my steak in a frying pan and use the butter for basting.  Alternatively, add the butter to scallops when searing or to make garlic butter shrimp.  The possibilities are endless!

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Garlic scape compound butter

How to make Garlic Scape Compound Butter:

Ingredients:

4-heaping tbsp butter, softened, room-temperature

2-tbsp garlic scapes, minced

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Combine the butter with the minced garlic scapes, in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and add the salt.  Mix again, to ensure the scapes are evenly blended with the butter.  (you can use a stand mixer to mix the ingredients, if you prefer.)

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Minced garlic scapes in a food processor.

Fold the entire mixture onto a sheet of clear plastic wrap.

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Butter has been thoroughly mixed with the garlic scapes and has been folded onto a sheet of clear plastic wrap.

Fold the plastic over (short ends in first) and begin to form the butter into a cylindrical roll.

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Begin to fold the butter into a cylindrical roll.

After the butter is completely folded in the plastic, roll the mold, to create a round cylinder.

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Butter has been rolled to create a cylinder.

Wrap your compound butter roll in aluminum foil and store in the freezer.  The foil will prevent the garlic aroma from leaking into the freezer and surrounding food, as well, will keep your butter fresh.

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Roll has been wrapped in aluminum foil and is ready for storage in the freezer.  Don’t forget to label it with name and date.

How to use it:

When ready to use, slice off as many pieces as needed and place it back in the freezer.

Have you made compound butter? What are your favourite ingredients to add to the butter?  I would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.

Enjoy and happy gardening!

Julia

Garlic Scape Pesto

What is a garlic scape?

If you grow hardneck garlic, you will notice that the plant produces a tall central stalk that  begins to curl.  This is the flower bud of the garlic, that if left on the plant, will not produce a true flower, but instead a grouping of tiny bulbils.  These are essentially tiny bulbs, which may be planted to produce full size garlic bulbs in two to three years time.

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Curly garlic scape growing from the centre of the garlic plant.

By removing the flower stalk or scape, the plant’s energy will redirect itself to producing a larger garlic bulb.

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Cut the scape, one inch above the joint between stalk and garlic plant.

What many people don’t know is how delicious this garlic scape is!  It has a milder garlic flavour than garlic cloves and an inviting smell.  If harvested when the scape is curly, it will have a crispy texture, similar to asparagus.  Garlic scapes may be used in place of garlic cloves, as well as in many other ways.

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Garlic scapes trimmed and ready for use.

One of my favourite ways to use garlic scapes is in Garlic Scape Pesto.  Not only does scape pesto taste wonderful over pasta, it is also delicious over warm eggs, on barbecued chicken and steak, spread over little toasts and added to sandwiches. It is very easy to make and stores easily in the refrigerator for one to two weeks or it may be frozen for several months.  Be sure to top the pesto with a layer of olive oil when storing.  After removing spoonfuls, even out the top of the pesto and top up with olive oil.  The olive oil with help to preserve the freshness of the pesto.

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Garlic scape pesto

Garlic scape pesto has a delectable mild garlic flavour and the addition of parmesan cheese and pistachios make it wonderfully creamy and aromatic.

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Garlic scapes are trimmed and their tough ends are removed.

I recommend making one serving at a time, tasting and making adjustments along with way.  If you want a stronger garlic flavour, add more scapes.  If you plan on eating it raw, add fewer scapes.  Add extra olive oil if you find the pesto to be a little dry.

Here’s how to make it!

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Recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients:

7 large garlic scapes, chopped into 2-3 pieces

1/3 cup raw pistachios, unsalted

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup olive oil (or more to adjust when processing)

salt & pepper

 

Directions:

Puree the first three ingredients in a food processor or a blender, until finely chopped.

Add the olive oil and continue to puree until smooth.  If extra olive oil is needed, add it now.

Season with salt & pepper.

If storing in the refrigerator, fill a small glass container and top with a thin layer of olive oil.  Close the jar tighly, to prevent any smells from escaping and to preserve freshness.

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Don’t forget to date and label your container.

If storing in the freezer, either fill an ice cube tray and top each cell with a thin layer of olive oil, or fill a plastic or freezer-safe glass container and cover the top with olive oil before freezing.  Once the ice cube tray is frozen, place frozen cubes in a freezer-safe plastic zipper bag.  Defrost each cube, as needed.

What is your favourite way to use garlic scapes?  Do you have a favourite recipe? Do you have your own version of garlic scape pesto?  I would love to hear about your experience in the comments section below.

Happy Gardening!

Julia