Monday, July 16, 2012

Summery green things

So the past week has been crazy hot and humid here and the thought of firing up the oven to bake this week's Baking with Julia challenge recipe of Semolina Bread was just too much to bear. I *will* bake this bread, I already bought the ingredients, but it will simply have to wait until things cool down a bit. I'll post the results when I do.... some time in November, from the looks of things :P

In the mean time, we have been taking advantage of the summery weather and doing our groceries at the Jean Talon Market, which is always a treat. Keeping an eye out for seasonal delights (and deals), I've made two things that have come out especially nice. The first is a large batch of garlic scape pesto:

Thanks to the scapes, the pesto comes out a wonderfully vibrant green with a rich basil and garlic flavor. The perk of using scapes instead of garlic cloves is that you can use a relatively large amount of them and still get a good punch of garlic flavor without it overwhelming the rest... they have a softer, more herbal garlic flavor compared to the bulbs. Instead of pine nuts (good lord those little beasts are expensive!), I used blanched almonds that I had leftover from making the biscotti... the end result was fantastic, I may never buy pine nuts for pesto again. 

While scapes have become something of a fad in foodie circles recently, they can be found quite cheap while in season, which here in Montreal is about now. The garlic producers will cut off the buds from the garlic plants to encourage them to put their energy into developing the bulbs instead of flowers. Those buds that are trimmed off are the scapes. Once the season is in full swing, I can get a large bunch of them at the market for less than $2, along with a large bunch of basil (also about $2), and a handful of parmesan (I used lactose-free) and blanched almonds and some olive oil, and I had about 2 cups of garden-fresh pesto for less than $10 all told. This stuff is outstanding tossed with some freshly cooked pasta and shrimp, and it also makes great cold leftovers for lunch the next day!

The second green thing I've made is a batch of lime sherbet. I came across a basket of limes for $1 that I just couldn't pass up... then of course had to find something to use them for :) B had never had sherbet, so I figured it was time to make some. The recipe took a bit of wrangling, and the one linked above sadly wouldn't freeze properly for me, though maybe it was due to me not using an ice cream machine to freeze it. However, I saved it by letting the slush thaw completely and using this amazing trick to alter the sugar/water ratios in the sherbet base. Back in the freezer it went until it was frozen solid, then I took it out and used this method to get it nice and creamy. It melts rather quickly, but this stuff is perfect for this hot, sticky weather we're having:  tart, sweet and ice cold... so refreshing! In fact, I think I may just have a bowl for dinner tonight... ;) 

1 comment:

  1. November sounds like a good time to turn the oven back on. Mine hasn't seen any action in a few weeks... (Although, I have to bake a series of cakes this weekend. Ugh)
    I love your green stuff :-)