Saturday, June 23, 2012

Year Three -- Week Two: The Green Share!

Unloading this week's share I noticed something...everything was green! Seriously. Other than the white turnips, it was all green things!

Week Two

1PT peas
1 handful sage
1 bunch kale
another large head lettuce
another large handful garlic scapes
1 handful pea shoots
1 bunch turnips

I have something exciting to show you for this week's share, but that'll be at the end.

Peas: These were shelled and added to the peas already in the fridge that Dad had brought over on Father's Day and eaten in quick order.

Sage: I love sage but don't use a ton of it over the summer, so that went right in the dehydrator and is put away for fall.

Kale: Wilted. Just didn't get to it in time. :(

Lettuce: The usual salads.

Pea Shoots: Okay, this was *the item* that I was most excited to see in the share. Yes, really. So, I ran to google and most people recommended to cook them ala saute. This item alone inspired me to make a stirfry and include the last bits of radish from week one along with some extra fridge goodies. Verdict: Stirfry - Yum. Pea Shoots - need work. They were really chewy. Really. Like chewing on a mouthful of old grass chewy. Despite being disappointed, I would try again in a different way.

Garlic Scapes: Pesto, pesto, pesto. Forget the fact that I have pesto from last year in the freezer - you can never have too much pesto! So, I took the scapes from Week One and Two - the leek from Week One, the oregano from Week One and made three different pesto. Garlic Scape & Oregano, Garlic Scape & Leek and .... Asian Style Pesto - yes, Asian Style.

Asian Style Pesto inspired by Mark Bittman

So, how does one make Pesto Asian? Step One: You consult Mark Bittman and his excellent book: The Food Matters Cookbook and turn to page 198.

I am not taking credit for his recipe whatsoever, but I'm going to tell you how *I* did it following his suggestions. All measurements are approximated as I don't really measure anything when making pesto. If you've made pesto before, you understand, it's really a visual thing.

I started with 1/4 c. of chopped garlic scapes in my food mill. Poured some olive oil in, about 4 seconds worth (yes, I measure it in time). Pulse a few times, or until it's creamy looking, but not flowing around the food mill well. Add 2TBSP sesame oil. Pulse around a bit more.

Now, Bittman suggests adding cilantro, mint, Thai basil, ginger, lemongrass, etc. So, I go get some lemongrass. One good pinch, using all five fingers. If I had to quantify it, it's probably a scant 1/4c. Now, my lemongrass was dry so I brought it to boil in a cup of water in the microwave, strained it and put it in. Then I added 1/2TBSP cilantro. Pulsed it around some more, added more sesame oil. Put in a dash of Chinese Five Spice Powder, Pulse around some more. Grab a handful of cashews, pulse around some more. During all this pulsing, I was adding olive and sesame oil alternately and tasting until it looked like this:

Asian Style Pesto

Yeah, I know, it looks like poop. Or dog puke. I know, I seriously thought the same thing - especially if the dog has been eating grass thanks to the stems of lemongrass. But it tastes yummy, I promise you!

I store my pesto in ice cube shapes. That way it easily goes into bags or tupperware in the freezer and you can grab how much you need by the cube full. It's also really easy because of all the oil, those things just slide right out of the ice cube tray when they're frozen after one twist.

Pesto Storage

Thanks Mark Bittman!

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