June 28, 2010

this tomato is not green

OK, so it isn't red either. But the verdict is: definitely not green. Lets hope they keep it up.  Plus here is a little 'test dig' on our dark red norlands.  Pretty and pink, but not big enough yet.  We are hoping for the weekend, but time will tell.

June 10, 2010

Garlic Scapes and Pea Tendrils...

This was just sent to me, and I though I would post it here as it combines two of our more unusual offerings.  
Sautéed Pea Tendrils with Garlic Scapes
By Charlie Burke

With farmers’ markets and farm stands open throughout northern New England, it is fun to see what new varieties of vegetables appear and to find ways of preparing them. This week’s recipe, though, brings us familiar flavors from unusual sources.

Pea tendrils, the tender tips of pea plants often including blossoms, taste similar to peas, both raw and cooked. Commonly used in Asian cooking, they have found their way into some restaurants but still cause comments when presented. They make great additions to salads and can be quickly sautéed for a fresh taste of spring to add to any meal where peas are appropriate. When buying them, look for bright green color, avoiding those with browned leaves or tips. Stems should be soft to the touch.

Garlic scapes are the seed pods of garlic plants. In New England, most garlic grown is hard neck garlic from the cold climates of northern Europe. The bulbs are harvested in August, but in July stems rise from the center of the leaves, each bearing a pod of seeds, with the stem continuing beyond the pod and tapering to a point. Some make a graceful loop and bob in the wind like a graceful bird, while others make double coils, resulting in rows of interesting geometric designs. When they first emerge, they are tender and the entire stem can be eaten. As they mature, the lower ends become woody, and only the tender ends are used. They taste of garlic, but are milder than the cloves. Garlic scapes can be chopped and added to salads, added to soups and used wherever garlic cloves are used. I like to sauté them to use as a side dish or to mix with potatoes or other vegetables. As is often the case with vegetables which appear at the same time, the mild garlic flavor of these scapes blends perfectly with the sweet “green” taste of fresh pea tendrils.

The most difficult part of this recipe may very well be finding both of these together, but either will be a fresh new taste alone. We’ve been enjoying the pea tendrils alone for over a month, well before the scapes emerged.

Four servings:

8 cups of pea tendrils, washed and roughly chopped
1 ½ - 2 cups tender ends of garlic scapes, excluding the seed pod, cut into 1/8 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt to taste and freshly ground pepper

Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium – high heat. Add oil or butter (or a mixture of the two), add scapes and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook, stirring, until scapes are bright green and slightly softened. Add chopped tendrils and cook until they are just wilted. Add further salt and ground pepper to taste.

This quick sauté will add to any meal, so check out your local farmers’ market or farm stand and give these great crops a try.