By Ania Robertson
Have you tried garlic scapes?
The reason I started publishing my recipes in the Observer’s culinary nook was a willingness to share the type of eating that is simple, plain and makes me feel healthy. Eating fresh local produce fits right in with a healthy Ayurvedic lifestyle that is in harmony with nature and the seasons.
Summer is the perfect time of the year to go local and fresh. Fresh herbs are abundantly available, and they bring out and enhance the food’s flavor while balancing the six tastes recognized by Ayurveda: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent.
Herbs target the often-neglected categories in the American palate of pungent, bitter and astringent that are introduced in a recipe below.
Garlic scapes are around right now, seasonally speaking, but they may confuse even inventive home cooks. I experimented with scapes — raw in salads, dips, roasted, steamed, as well as stir-fried. I added scapes to omelets, soups, sandwiches… and I sautéed them with other vegetables. To get this delicious pesto, I puree raw scapes (pungent) along with walnuts (astringent), parmesan cheese, olive oil (bitter) as well as salt and black pepper.
Summer Garlic Scapes Pesto
3/4 cup garlic scapes, sliced
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
dash, or two, of salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
grated parmesan to taste
Put the scapes and walnuts into food processor, and whiz together briefly to get the ball rolling, then pour in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Blend into a paste that is not too smooth.
Scrape into a bowl and add parmesan, mashing with a fork as you go.
Should keep for a week or so in the fridge.
Eat in small doses.
Serving suggestions: Coat your favorite pasta with the pesto, spread the pesto on a baguette or even serve with eggs at breakfast.
Ania Robertson is a certified life coach with additional certification in Ayurveda and Feng Shui.