Couscous, Carrots. Scapes and Green Beans

Couscous, Carrots and Green Beans

This was heartier than it looks at first glance, those green beans have real substance and make a delicious and hearty lunch.

First, I made the couscous by toasting 1 cup of couscous it in a dry pan on medium for about 3 minutes before adding 1 cup of boiling water and putting a lid on it. I set it aside and cooked the vegetables.

I used 2 tsps of olive oil. I added some cinnamon and cumin and heated until aroma filled the air.

I added 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped, and salt and pepper, and cooked until tender.

I chopped 2 small carrots and 2 garlic scapes into 2 inch long, but thin pieces, the size and shape of green beans. I added them to the oil and sauteed until nearly tender. Then I added 1 cup of frozen green beans and cooked nearly done. Before it was finished, I added the couscous to the pain and let it finish cooking.

This made 4 side dish servings or 2 entree size servings. The flavor was hearty, yet light.

Couscous with Asparagus and Garlic Scapes with Feta

couscous asparagus garlic scapes

I made a quick and easy lunch with some asparagus, garlic scapes and couscous.

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 5 asparagus
  • 4 garlic scapes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • salt and pepper

First, I set 1 cup of couscous in a kettle on medium heat to toast a bit. This is not a required step and you can always skip it but I like the added nuttiness you get if you toast the couscous first. In a teak kettle I heated water. I then removed the couscous from the heat. I added 1 cup of boiling water and put a lid on it and let it do its thing. In a few minutes I removed the lid and forked the couscous, lofting it so it did not get sticky.

While this was going on, I chopped 1/2 of a small onion and added it to 1 TBSP of olive oil heated to medium in a sauté pan. I added about 1 tsp of ground cumin and salt and pepper. I let the onions sauté while I cut up about 5 asparagus stalks and 4 garlic scapes. The stalks were mid-sized so I cut them in half before slicing them and the garlic scapes on a diagonal. Cutting them in half lets them cook a little more quickly and evenly. The diagonal slicing makes them look prettier in the dish. I added the asparagus and garlic scapes to the onions and let them all cook until done, tender but still toothsome. I then squeezed in the juice of one lemon and let it cook into the veggies for about a minute or so before adding the couscous and stirring it all together. This made two servings. One for a hot lunch and one for a cold salad later in the day. Sprinkling some feta on top and mixing it in added just the right amount of bite.

Omelette with Scapes, Green Onions and Sour Cream

Scapes Omelette

Spring means fresh garlic scapes – a delicious and transient treat to look forward to each year. Because their season is so short, you have to take full advantage of it. So, I decided to have scapes for breakfast.

Scapes can be a little tough if they are not well cooked, so I cooked them before putting them in the omelette. I cut the tops off three scapes and 2 green onions. I sliced the scapes down the center and then chopped the scapes and green onions into pieces about 1.5 – 2 inches long. I heated 1/2 tbsp of butter in a small pan and sautéed the scapes and green onions with salt and pepper until they changed color. Then I added just enough water to cover them and let them simmer for about five minutes until tender. I drained the fluid off and let them rest before adding them to the omelette.

For the omelette, I used three eggs which I whisked 2 tbsp of water and 1/4 tsp of paprika because its smokiness will complement the garlic. I heated my griddle to 250° F and melted as little butter as possible to coat the surface. I poured the omelette mixture and let cook.

I did not add salt. Salt is good on fried eggs, eggs sunny side up, eggs over easy , but for scrambled eggs and omelettes – when the yolk is mixed with the whites, salt will make the eggs get tougher and rubbery. No salt makes tender eggs .Add the salt when you are done.

I spread the scapes and green onions over the omelette mixture and dropped two small dollops of sour cream on top. Then using a thin piece of wood (a lefse turner) I rolled the omelette up. You can use a very thin spatula, but I love my lefse turner.

I make omelettes on a lefse griddle. It’s hard to go wrong with such precise temperature control and all the space in the world for the omelette to spread out thin. The edges are shallow, so it’s easy to lift the edges of the omelette for turning – with no sides of a fry pan interfering with your ability to get under the omelette.

The blend of garlic scapes, green onions and sour cream was delicious and the hint of paprika smoke was perfect.

Garlic Scapes, Tomatoes & Parmesan

Garlic Scapes, Tomatoes  & Parm

I love roasted garlic scapes, but I did not want to turn the oven on and heat up my apartment. What to do? Well, I often use my iron skillet with its lid to function as an oven. I will bake biscuits in the skillet with dry heat, for example. So I thought about roasting them in the skillet, but then when I had the skillet out and heating, I suddenly decided to go a different way and have to say, it worked really well, giving me a new, delicious way to enjoy scapes.

I heated 1 TBSP of olive oil in the skillet on medium-high (7 out of 10 on my electric dial) and cut one bunch of scapes into 2 inch long pieces while it heated. I tossed a dash of cumin in the oil as it heated. Then I added the scales and let them cook until they started to brown and began to get tender. I diced one tomato and added it after the scapes were cooked. While that cooked, I shredded 2 oz. of parmesan cheese and tossed on top, stirring in so it melted. This made two large servings of veggies.

The cumin and scales and tomato are magic together and the parmesan just makes it all so decadently delicious. I will definitely make this again.

Garlic Scapes & Potato Soup

GarlicScapeSoup

 

My best friend brought over a bunch of garlic scapes. If you have never had them, they are the early spring shoots off garlic plants and they have this delicious and so very delicate oniony-garlic flavor. A favorite way to cook them is roasting them in the oven, but I swear my downstairs neighbor still has the heat on so I did not want to heat up the apartment by turning on the oven. Since I love soup just about more than anything, I decided I would try come up with something that would respect the delicate flavor of the scapes. Lots of googling found several recipes mostly for garlic scapes and white bean soups. There are no white beans in the pantry so that’s out. There were several recipes with potatoes in a pureed soup. I think garlic scapes are so pretty, that I decided to just come up with something on my own and see what happens.

I heated 1 TBSP of olive oil in my 2 quart sauce pan. I chopped the scapes into pieces about 1.5 inches long and tossed them in to sauté. I added 1 tsp of dry tarragon. I would have used fresh, but I didn’t have any. I also added some salt and pepper because you always want to season in layers so that the flavor builds in each ingredient you add. I had the heat up just a bit above medium because I wanted the scapes to brown and caramelize just a bit to bring out their sweetness.

As soon as I had nice caramelization, I added 3 cups of chicken broth (made by boiling the heck out of a roast chicken carcass and all the onions that it rested on while roasting) and 3 potatoes, cubed into just under 1 inch bites. I added a dash of salt and pepper and cooked until the potatoes were tender. It is essential that you cut the potatoes all the same size because you want them to all be done at the same time. Otherwise you will have underdone and mushy potatoes which is really not appealing. If you want a vegan version, use vegetable broth instead.

So this was the moment of truth, would the scapes be too fibrous as they are? Would I have to puree to deal with the texture? Well, I am happy to report they maintained their integrity, not turning to mush, while also being tender and toothsome without a hint of being too fibrous for soup. The flavor was a bit mellow, so I added the juice of one lemon and another dash of salt and pepper and it was done. And it is amazing.

The deepest flavor is a rich oniony-garlic flavor from the scapes with high notes of tarragon and lemon. It is a truly stunning soup that is made even more special because scapes have such a short window during the year. So get to the store now, they could be gone in no time.

This made 6 generous servings. You could make a vegan version by using vegetable broth.