Farmers’ Market Demo Recipes: Garlic Scapes

July 24, 2013

Bundles of kale and Chard

This summer, I have been helping to organize the open air Chef ‘s Demo Stage at the Moss Street Market. My main job is to recruit chefs and passionate cooks to fill up the demonstrations slots.  If I didn’t need a summer vacation already, I would just fill all the slots myself, because how great is that?! Using perfect, perfect farm fresh produce to show market shoppers how to cook with seasonal ingredients? The. Best!

The Chef’s Stage has been popular. I know my two demos were well-attended – folks actually stayed to watch the cooking, instead of coming around only for the samples :) Feedback from other chefs has been just as positive. Really, was there ever any doubt? Victoria peeps are enthusiastic foodies!

I gave out printed copies of the recipes at both of my Chef’s Stage demos, but that doesn’t help those of you who missed them. So, by popular demand, I am posting both of my Moss St Market chef demo recipes here on my blog.

garlic scapes

The first demo focused on garlic scapes (pictured above) and on leafy greens. People usually don’t know what to do with garlic scapes (I’ve previously posted some ideas here), so I thought this would help them out – tender garlic-infused greens, mixed with slightly softened squeaky cheese curds and a hint of chile… What can I say, except: “Watch out, poutine!”

garlic scapes and greens with cheese curds

CROSTINI WITH GARLIC-BRAISED GREENS AND CHEESE CURDS
Makes about 15 pieces
The beauty of crostini is that all the individual components – crostini bread, different toppings, the cheese – can be prepared ahead of time and the crostini assembled just before serving.  Crostini can be served at room temperature, or heated for a few minutes in a 350°F oven.

Crostini (toasts):
1 Wild Fire or Fol Epi baguette, sliced into 1 cm thick slices
4 Tb butter OR extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Brush both sides of each slice of baguette with the oil.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Make sure the slices are still a bit soft on the inside.  Remove to a cooling rack and let cool. Store crostini in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Garlic-braised greens, red chile, and cheese curd
1 lb fresh local braising greens
2 Tb butter or olive oil
1 cup finely chopped garlic scapes (5 0z/140 gm) OR 6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
½ tsp to 1 tsp dried chile flakes (crushed chilies)
½ tsp salt
1-2 Tb water
180 gm Natural Pastures cheese curds, chopped

cut garlic scapes

Instructions
Wash and chop the greens, removing stems as necessary.

If using garlic scapes: Heat butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add prepared garlic scapes and sauté about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until scapes are fragrant and softened slightly. Add the chile flakes and sauté about 10 seconds. Immediately add the water and the greens, stirring to coat with the garlic scape mixture. Sprinkle in the salt, turn down the heat, cover the pot and let the greens cook 3 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and infused with garlic.

If using minced garlic: Combine the butter, garlic and chiles together in a large skillet or sauté pan. Place on a burner and heat over medium-low heat.  Stir continuously as the garlic cooks, sautéing until the garlic is pale golden and sticking together in small clumps (or sticking to the spoon). Immediately add the one tablespoon of water and the greens, stirring to coat with the garlic mixture. Sprinkle in the salt, turn down the heat, cover the pot and let the greens cook 3 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and infused with garlic.

To finish either method: As soon as greens are cooked, remove them from heat, let cool for one to two minutes, and then stir in the chopped cheese curds. These should not melt, only soften slightly.

Cover each crostini with a tablespoon or two of this mixture. Serve.

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