Every Tuesday I eagerly await for my CSA box to arrive. It's like Christmas morning... except I'm opening boxes with perfectly picked farm fresh veggies and fruit. If this is the first time you are hearing about a CSA, let me give you some details. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You basically buy a "share" in a local farm for the year/growing season, and receive weekly boxes of fresh produce. Our share runs for 24 weeks from June-October. Farm shares are the best way to get locally grown AND organic produce in one. Plus its a fantastic way to support the local economy and ensure you are eating a variety of veggies. Check out localharvest.org to find one near you.
Each week I'll typically end up with a veggie or two that I've never seen before. I love this aspect of the share because I get to be super creative in the kitchen and experiment with new vegetables. In this week's box there were a couple of variations of squash, some i've never seen before, and a ton of garlic scapes!
The garlic scape is the long, thin, curly stalk of the garlic plant. Harvested young, the stalk is a tender, curly capsule of mild garlic flavor.
Health Benefits Of Garlic Scapes:
Since they're part of the garlic plant, they offer the same health benefits as the cloves, such as prevention of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cancer. Scapes are a good source of manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and calcium. They are known to boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Since the garlic scape has a more mild flavor than the garlic bulb, it is often used raw or just slightly cooked. A few cooking ideas include:
- Add them raw to salads
- Add them to soups, dips, salad dressings
- Serve in combo with other foods, grilled, sautéed, or roasted
- Try a pesto!
- Substitute in recipes for onions or garlic
This delicacy is usually only available for a short amount of time in the Summer, so look for them at your local farmers market or grocery store. Stock up and freeze what you don't use for when they're not available.
Sautéed Summer Squash and Garlic Scape
- 3 garlic scapes, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds of summer squash ( 2 yellow squash, 2 zucchini) , sliced
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tbs thinly sliced fresh basil
Servings: Serves 4–6
In a sauté/simmer pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the zucchini squashes, and diced garlic scapes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
Remove the pan from the heat stir in fresh basil. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl Serve immediately. Serves 6.
*Notes: For picture purposes, I did not cut up the scapes as directed in the recipe. This recipe works best if the garlic scapes are cut into 1 inch pieces. *