I recently did a post on Garlic Scapes. At the time I didn’t know what they were but got some feedback from subscribers who were familiar with them. I found scapes at a local greenmarket and was able to try the Italy Magazine recipe that I referred to, as well as another recipe that I got at the green market.
Here’s the recipe directly from Italy Magazine:
1 pound (454g) garlic scapes
2 cups (470g) white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
Equipment: 2 sterilized pint-size (1/2 L) jars
Cut the scapes into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths, removing any tough parts at the bottom and the thinnest part at the top above the small bulbous tip.
Bring the vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat in a saucepan large enough to hold the scapes. Stir in the salt and let it dissolve. Add the scapes to the pot and cover. Boil, stirring once or twice, until the scapes have lost their bright green color, 4 to 5 minutes.
Drain the scapes in a colander set in the sink. Spread them out on a clean kitchen towel and let dry for about 1 hour. Shuffle them around a few times so they dry on all sides.
Pack the scapes into the jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Cover the scapes completely with oil, pressing down on the scapes to submerge them. Screw the lids on tightly and let rest at room temperature for 24 hours.
Transfer the scapes to the refrigerator and let cure for one week before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to 12 weeks. To serve, remove from the jar only as many scapes as you plan to use and let them come to room temperature. Top off the jar with more oil as needed to keep the remaining scapes submerged. Serve on sandwiches, in salads or in an antipasto.
This is the recipe I got at the green market for sautéed garlic scapes:
1 bunch of garlic scapes
Olive oil for sautéing
Salt and black pepper
Same as above – Cut the scapes into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths, removing any tough parts at the bottom and the thinnest part at the top above the small bulbous tip.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add cut scapes and boil for 5 minutes (no need to dry them as thoroughly as above).
Sauté in olive oil with salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish, on a sandwich or in an omlette.
The West 97th Street Green Market was set up for social distancing. The sidewalk was marked with chalk to indicate where to form lines and keep 6 feet between customers. All of the vendors wore masks and gloves.
I was at the West 97th Street Green Market when I came across purslane, a type of greens I’d never seen or heard of before. It’s common in Spain, Greece, and Italy and is a good source of omega-3 and other vitamins and minerals. Purslane is also known as hogweed, pusley, and fatweed. It’s tender enough to use raw in salads. It also works it in stews and frittatas. This recipe for a simple side dish is the one given to me by the farmers who grew it.
2 cups purslane
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Put 1 cup of water and a garlic clove in a frying pan. Turn the heat to medium-high.
When the water boils, add the purslane, and reduce the heat to low. Cover the frying pan and keep cooking for 6-7 minutes. If the Purslane has woody stems cook it a little longer.
Remove it from the heat, drain, and season with salt, pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil, Sprinkle with Parmesan just before serving.
Cauliflower comes in colors so be creative. And don’t let that little bit of anchovy put you off. It adds a savory hint and doesn’t taste fishy. Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula is an inexpensive dish that’s delicious and easy to make.
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
¼ cup olive oil
Salt, black and red pepper to taste
1 tbsp. anchovy paste or 2 anchovies (optional)
2 cloves sliced garlic
4 cups arugula
½ lb. small pasta
Boil cauliflower pieces for 10 minutes in salted water. Remove the cauliflower and add the pasta to that same boiling water.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in another pot. Add salt, black and red pepper, and anchovy. Add the garlic and simmer on low heat for five minutes until the anchovy dissolves and the garlic flavors the oil. Add the cooked cauliflower and arugula, stir and coat with the oil.
When the pasta is almost done, add it and ½ cup of the pasta water to the pot with the cauliflower and arugula to finish cooking. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
This is a perfect side dish for a meat and potato meal. Pommes Persillade are crisp because they’re boiled, dried, and fried.
2 russet potatoes 1 tbs. kosher salt + ½ tbs. divided 1 minced garlic clove Small bunch chopped parsley 2 tbs. melted butter ½ tsp. black pepper 2 tbs. olive oil
Peel and cut the potatoes into approximate 1 inch cubes. Place them in a pot of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes. Thoroughly drain the potatoes and spread them on paper towels for at least 10 minutes to dry.
In the meantime, chop the parsley, mince the garlic and add it to the melted butter. Also add the remaining ½ tablespoon of salt and the ½ teaspoon of black pepper.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the potatoes over medium-high heat. Don’t crowd the pan and work in batches if you need to. Cook them until they’re crisp/lightly browned. Place the potatoes in a serving bowl, toss with the parsley/garlic/butter mixture and serve.
Here’s a basic and simple focaccia recipe using just 4 ingredients. The total time spent on it is about half an hour – not counting rising.
1. 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2. ½ tsp. dry yeast
3. ½ tbs. kosher salt
4. 4 tbs. olive oil divided + more for greasing
1. Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the water (about 1 ¾ cups) and stir with a spatula until you have a sticky dough. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in another bowl. Add the dough and roll it around to coat it with the oil. Cover it tightly with Saran and refrigerate for at least 1 and no more than 2 days.
2. Brush ¼ baking sheet (9”x13”) with oil. Put the dough in the pan and spread it with your fingers. Add more oil if it starts to stick. If it doesn’t get to the edges of the pan it will when after it rises. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour until it doubles its size. Pat down the dough down to about 1 inch thickness and dimple the entire surface with your fingertips. Sprinkle or brush it with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. While you’re waiting for it to rise pre-heat the over to 450 degrees.
That’s basic focaccia but the toppings are up to you and now is the time to add them. Sprinkle it with coarse sea salt and herbs, chopped tomatoes, chives or scallions, sliced pitted olives, sesame seeds and/or onions. (Be creative.If you’re feeling artistic you can make a focaccia garden.)Lightly press the toppings into the dimpled dough before you add the olive oil. I often make it plain because I like it for breakfast with butter and preserves.
3. Bake it for 20 to 25 minutes rotating the pan once, front to back. Let it cool and then remove it from the pan. It’s good while it’s still warm and will last another couple of days unrefrigerated if wrapped in Saran. It’s thick enough to slice and use for sandwiches.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So, when you can’t get fresh clams, use canned. You don’t need fresh clams for this one. Clam sauce and linguine traditionally go together but if you can’t get linguine use whatever pasta you like.
¼ cup olive oil and more for drizzling 3 cloves of garlic, sliced Salt, black and red pepper 1 can of clams 1 bottle of clam broth ½ half cup of chopped parsley divided 1 lb. linguine
Heat the oil in another pot on medium heat and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Give the garlic a few minutes to flavor the oil. Strain the canned clams, saving the liquid and add them to the pot. Sauté for a few minutes, add half the parsley and the liquid from the canned clams and the bottle of clam broth. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
When the pasta is almost done add it to the pot with the sauce to finish cooking. Remove it to a serving dish, sprinkle with the rest of the chopped parsley and drizzle it with some olive oil. Most Italians agree that’s it’s a mortal sin to put cheese on seafood.
Here’s another easy recipe. This one’s for a side dish. Arugula with garlic and oil is just three ingredients plus salt and pepper. Precise measurements don’t matter much for this one. Arugula is also known as rocket and is similar to spinach and collard greens which you can also make this way.
Arugula –as much as you like
2 sliced cloves of garlic – more if you like garlic
Olive oil – enough to coat the greens
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Simmer on a low flame for about 5 minutes to infuse the oil with garlic flavor. Don’t brown it. Add the arugula, a ½ cup of water, and toss it until it wilts.
In Italian its pasta e fagioli – that means “pasta and beans.” Some people call it pasta fazool. Both pronunciations are correct. In the Neapolitan dialect its pasta e fasule, often spelled pasta fazool in America.
In a large pot, cook the trinity in oil. When the vegetables are soft, add the beans and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered for 2 hours.
Add salt and pepper, the cherry tomatoes, 2 more cups of water, and the pasta. If necessary, add more water as the pasta cooks. When the pasta is almost done, throw in a couple of hands full of arugula or spinach. I’m using a mix of both. When the greens whilt, it’s ready to serve.
I think it’s tastier reheated the next day. Just add some water to the pot and stir over a low flame.
A pound of beans and a pound of pasta can rally grow as they cook. You might to cut those 2 ingredients in half.
Here’s a simple dish. It’s easy to make with just a few easy to get ingredients.
broccoli cut into florets
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves sliced garlic
1 lb. pasta (your choice)
Salt and black pepper
Place the broccoli in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove the broccoli to a bowl and withthe water continuing to boil, add the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, in another pot lightly sauté the garlic in the oil and then toss the broccoli, thoroughly coating it with the oil. Season with the salt and pepper.
When the pasta is almost done remove it from the water and add it to the broccoli, garlic, oil mix to finish cooking. Add some of the pasta water and a sprinkle of oil, stir and serve with grated Parmesan cheese if you like. This recipe also works with cauliflower instead of broccoli.
An interesting recipe – turmeric pasta – from Sue Li in the New York Times. I think of turmeric as a typically Indian ingredient but it really works with pasta. I made a couple of changes to her recipe replacing butter with olive oil and heavy cream with ricotta. You can do it either way.
1 lb. small pasta
Olive oil for frying
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 ½ tsps. Turmeric
1 cup ricotta
1 cup Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp. chopped parsley
Start a pot of salted water to cook the pasta. Drain the pasta when done, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.
Saute the onion and garlic in oil in a pot. When the onion is soft add the turmeric and stir it into the onions for about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the ricotta and bring to a simmer. Stir in the Parmesan and add enough of the pasta water (you may not need all of it) to thin to a sauce consistency. Add the cooked pasta and parsley, blend and serve with additional cheese.