Market report: Garlic scapes — and kohlrabi, too!

June 28 market

I missed two Saturdays of the farmer’s market while in Montana and my, how things changed! The last of the strawberries are now out, but are being replaced with favorites I’ve been longing for. Namely, garlic scapes and kohlrabi.

You might recall that I got a little obsessed with garlic scapes last year, and ended up making carbonara with them three times before perfecting the dish. To the point that I had carbonara out the other night and thought, “mine’s better.” (This rarely happens.) This go-around, I may even get a little crazy and toss in the fresh English peas I found today.

My niece Leah and I have been waiting patiently for kohlrabi to come into season, although she wasn’t as excited as I thought she would be when I called her this morning from the farmer’s market and woke her after I found it. Some people eat kohlrabi raw, but I prefer it peeled, tossed in olive oil, and roasted.

I also filled my farmer’s market bag with beets (more on this experiment later), three types of summer squash and sweet Michigan cherries.

For the first time, I ran out of room in my bag before I ran out of cash. Now that’s a good day at the market.

Garlic scapes look odd, taste delicious

IMG_5660I first noticed garlic scapes at the farmer’s market last summer. They’re hard to miss — bright green and curly and, well, seriously odd looking. But none showed up in our CSA box, and my plate was full (literally) dealing with all of the new vegetables that did.

But when I opened last week’s share, there they were. And I had to figure out what to do with them.

Googling yielded this recipe for Garlic Scapes Carbonara, on the Sarah’s Cucina Bella blog. Although I was nervous that using raw eggs to make the sauce would result in pasta with scrambled eggs instead of creamy carbonara, I decided to give it a go.

Wow, am I glad I did.

It’s a quick dish. Chopping the garlic scapes took the most time, because they’re so curly. I should’ve tackled them first, before I started the bacon instead of while it was frying.

Next time I make this recipe, I’ll also:

  • Add fresh peas, as Sarah suggests. I planned to buy some at the midweek farmer’s market, but didn’t make it.
  • Use pancetta or real bacon instead of turkey bacon. I only had turkey bacon on hand and, while the end result was fine, I know real bacon would’ve added more flavor. Plus, the turkey bacon left the pan dry, so I had to sauté the garlic scapes in olive oil instead of bacon grease.
  • Use a bigger pot. The pot I typically boil pasta in was a little cramped when stirring in the egg.

Still, delicious!

IMG_5663

CSA, hooray! Chapter 3

It’s the third week of our CSA share, and we’re still in the green.

Today’s box contained:IMG_5633

  • Sweet Valentine romaine lettuce
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • turnips
  • bok choy
  • garlic scapes
  • early onions
  • leaf lettuce mix
  • broccoli of some sort

I’m most excited about the garlic scapes, which I’ve never had and have no idea what they even taste like — although I assume they’re garlicky. I plan to search some recipes tonight.

Mike wasn’t so excited to see another bunch of bok choy. I’m not sure why, as I ate last week’s bunch all by myself. I love the crunchiness and how easy it is sauté them in a little garlic and olive oil.

The only conundrum is the turnips. Really, turnips? I thought they were extinct.