Last year my husband and I decided to start canning to preserve our garden’s goodness without the shame of freezer burn. I had long been scared of the boiling water process as I vividly remember my mom suffering a huge burn on her leg from trying to manage a hot stockpot by herself and spilling it. It was a 20 minute ride to the hospital and I was little, sitting in the back seat watching my mom cry while driving herself to the ER. The things we remember, right? So, nope, no canning, not gonna do it, not for me. But we had more produce than we could eat, and not all of it would hold up (or fit!) in the freezer.
So we set out to conquer my fear.
And good thing, too! We made salsa, jar after jar of dill pickles, spicy pickled green beans, jam, and even just straight up peeled canned whole tomatoes simply for the pleasure of fall chili and stews.
I was hooked.
So this year we planted for the purpose
of preserving, and I’ve spent countless hours looking up recipes and techniques for tastes we have not yet tried. Its exciting to find other uses for plants you have cultivated for their bulbs, or leaves, or fruit. One of the delicacies I read about was the lovely garlic scape.
As my hardneck garlic matures, its sending up its flowers in graceful curves and swirls. Not all of my garlic survived (first year, whatcha gonna do?), but I’ve harvested enough to make this fabulous looking pesto and my hands now smell like mildly scented garlicky goodness.
Best of all, cutting the scapes off the mother plant allows more energy to be focused on good bulb production, which was my whole point of growing garlic in the first place! I wished I’d planted twice as much when I read some of the other delicious uses for the garlic scapes.
So this is our new treat for today. I’m thinking a modification of that pesto recipe above with some walnuts, lemon, and served over chicken…I’ll let you know how it turns out.