Small Bites: Garlic Scapes

June 5, 2013 - Written by Diana

Garlic scapes are in season.  What is a garlic scape- you ask?  Why it’s the shoot that the garlic plant sends up that will turn into flowers and then a seed pod with bulbettes.

Garlic Scapes - Bud End - Cookerati



Cutting the garlic scape off is supposed to help the garlic bulb to become larger because it’s not putting the energy into small bulbs.  It has a milder garlic flavor but can be used in place of garlic.  Some garlic scapes circle around while others just grow straight up.  The garlic scape should be cut off early while it is still soft because the stem becomes more fibrous and tougher as it gets older.

Garlic Scapes - Cookerati

Garlic scapes are great in any recipe that uses garlic, or green garlic.  It can be used in pesto – or just tossed with pasta.  Scapes can be used in dips, hummus, or aiolis, in soups or stews, and salads.


Try this recipe: Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in a Garlic Scape Pesto

Blackberry Peach Mint Fruit Salad

July 23, 2012 - Written by Diana

Blackberry Peach Mint Fruit Salad

I think some seasonal fruits and vegetables become ripe at the same time for a reason… like they tastes so great together. Or maybe they taste so well together because they ripen at the same time.  Peaches and blackberries are the perfect combination.  This fruit salad can be a side or a dessert, either way it’s sweet, fruity and delicious.  The mint takes it up a notch and white wine is the perfect finishing touch.  Four ingredients for the perfect salad and while you peel and chop the peaches and chop the mint, most of the work is quick and easy and it can be made ahead and chilled while you work on something else. I served this at the (birthday) dinner party for the kids (college age kids) this weekend.  It was wiped out – gone.  I also made it for dinner tonight as a side for our main pasta dish.

Blackberry Peach Mint Fruit Salad
Prep time
Total time
Great summer salad using peaches blackberry and mint with a splash of white wine over top.
Recipe type: Fruit Salad
Serves: 8
  • 5 peaches
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1 handful of mint
  • ½ cup of white wine
  1. Rinse and peel peaches and slice thin - but not super thin.
  2. Rinse and drain blueberries.
  3. Pull mint leaves off the stem and mince.
  4. Toss the peaches, blackberries and mint together.
  5. Splash white wine over top.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Easy Peasy.
Really best when peaches and blackberries are in season and can be found at the farm market. You can substitute white grape juice, or if you can find it, peach juice for the wine.


Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in Garlic Scape Pesto

May 29, 2012 - Written by Diana

What to eat when it’s hot outside ? A salad with pesto as the dressing is better than mayo or heavy dressings and parts of it can be made ahead of time to be combined sometime later before you eat.  Both my husband and my son enjoyed this for dinner, my husband loved it so much he finished off whatever was leftover that same evening.

I received garlic scapes in my market bag and used it in the pesto and the salad itself, chopping it into pieces about one to two inches in length.  I cut the asparagus and the leeks to the same size as the garlic scapes (though they weren’t used in the pesto).  I prepared this again with more asparagus for our Memorial Day family gathering, but I have broccolini that would work well and so would fresh peas.

Garlic scapes are substituted for garlic in this dish, I used it in the pesto and the salad.  They are the seed heads that shoot up among the garlic, cutting the scape off is supposed to lead to a bigger head of garlic.  While you are patiently waiting for your garlic to grow, you can cut off your scape and substitute it in your recipes.


Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in a Garlic Scape Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A cold pesto and pasta salad.
Recipe type: Pasta Salad
Serves: 4-6
  • Bunch Parsley
  • Bunch Oregano
  • 2 Garlic Scapes
  • Bunch Basil
  • ¼ cup Pine Nuts divided
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 8 oz dried Orzo
  • 8 Asparagus stalks
  • 4 Garlic Scapes
  • 2 Leeks
  • Pine Nuts
  • Grated Parmesan
  1. Place all Pesto ingredients into a food processor or magic bullet.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in and pulse.
  3. Check to see if the pesto is the right consistency - it should be loose enough to toss with salad and coat the pasta, but not too loose that it will just slide right off.
  4. If it isn't loose enough add more oil and pulse again.
  5. Cook Orzo according to package directions.
  6. Slice the garlic scapes, the asparagus and the leeks.
  7. The leeks will need to be rinsed again so that all of the dirt and sand is removed.
  8. Drain pasta and the vegetables and toss together.
  9. Toast Pine Nuts and add to the Pasta
  10. Toss the pesto with the pasta salad.
  11. Sprinkle Parmesan, salt and pepper and toss again.
If it is a side, it will serve more than if it is the main dish. To make ahead, keep pasta and veggies separate from the pesto because pasta will absorb the oil. Combine right before using.


I’m adding a note here that I’m entering this pasta salad as my entry for Culinary Smackdown – Battle Salad.  Come visit and see the entries.


Minty Spring Asparagus & Pasta with Lamb Mint Sausage

April 7, 2011 - Written by Diana

The last time we had Lamb Mint Sausage there were a few who said they didn’t know if lamb and mint went together.  I love mint and I think the lamb mint sausage are very tasty, but it is a very mild flavor.  I wanted to up the mint factor this time.  So, I made a mint and parsely pesto to use with gemelli pasta and some asparagus, one of my favorite spring time foods.  Of course I added some lamb mint sausage because I thought it would be the perfect thing to round out the dish.

For dinner, the pasta was warm when mixed with the pesto and the warm asparagus and sausage.  The next day cold leftovers were even better.  I think my mother will love this dish so much that I’m going to make it for her when she visits this summer.  She has strict dietary restrictions and we have to go without tomatoes, onions and she doesn’t like heavy sauces, so this will be perfect for her.  You could substitute beans for the sausage, or even use a grain instead of pasta for a salad.  This salad embodies spring, lovely light taste, lots of pretty green – and lamb too.  First ingredient fresh from the garden this year – parsley!  Yay!


In a food processor, or magic bullet, pulse the mint, parsley, pine nuts, shredded romano cheese and drizzle olive oil while pulsing.  Cut the asparagus and the green onion into bite size pieces and saute in pan with olive oil.  Saute the lamb mint sausage separately in another pan.  After the sausage rests, slice the sausage into bite size pieces.  Toss the pesto, asparagus and green onion and the sausage together with the cooked (and drained) pasta.  Salt and pepper to desired taste and serve.

Garlicky Smashed New Potatoes with Spinach and Lamb Mint Sausage

March 27, 2011 - Written by Diana

Lamb Mint Sausage is my new favorite sausage.  We bought it at Blues Creek Farm Meats when we were at the Lamb Cutting Class and discovered that we love it .  The mint is sort of subtle, and when you throw it into an Alfredo sauce like my daughter did last week, you might not taste the mint at all. However, if you cook it on it’s own and serve it without any sauce, you can get the nice mint flavor that’s subtle, but it’s there.  As a result, I don’t like to mix this sausage with other foods and serve it on the side.  Tonight, to go with the sausage, I made one of my husband’s favorite sides – potatoes, though he likes potatoes almost any way you can think of to prepare it.  I did a rough smash, mixed it with some garlic and shallots that were sauteed in oil, and some fresh spinach that wilted down.  I threw in a couple of tablespoons of butter and some garlic olive oil and stirred it around a little.  That’s it.  Garlicky potatoes – yummy, yummy.


-chopped herbs

Pour about 3 tbs olive oil into a saute pan.  Heat up and when it is hot enough, saute the shallots and garlic lightly. Drain almost soft potatoes.  Add to pan with shallots and garlic and using a potato smasher or bottom of a slotted spoon, rough smash the potatoes.  With a large spoon, toss the potatoes with the spinach while the spinach wilts.  Throw in the butter, the salt, pepper and chopped herbs and give it a nice mix heating it up.  Drizzle top with a little more garlic oil and serve.

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash

December 4, 2009 - Written by Diana

Here’s a way the whole family will enjoy butternut squash and apple.  I used a splash of orange, plus grated the rind and ginger.  This was fabulous, fantastic, divine, delicious and good tasting.  Butternut squash is so delicious and nutritious for you and such a great autumn food to serve.  Apples go well with it, and the orange gives it sweetness without adding sugar.

I told my son to tell me it tasted wonderful, and after he tasted, he agreed.  If you have kids that balk at squash, this is the way to serve it.


Oh, this dish is heavenly good.  I think I’m bringing it to my mom for Christmas.

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 3 or 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 orange peel - zested
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • Olive oil for pan
  • Nutmeg
  1. I parboiled the squash so that the apple wouldn’t get mushy from baking too long. Oil a baking dish. Drain the butternut squash, and toss with apple in baking dish. Grate ginger, then zest orange and toss that with the butternut squash and apple. I squeezed a little of the orange over top of the dish too and then lightly sprinkled nutmeg over top. Bake at 350 until soft, but not mushy, with a little bit of firmness.

Herb Day Sale

May 3, 2009 - Written by Diana

Peppermint from morguefile  We have been so busy with track meets, it’s difficult to find time to cook, never mind writing about cooking.  Hot dogs or burgers at the meets, or fast food afterwards.  Sometimes a group of us will go to a restaurant and hang out, though usually it’s a buffet and portion control is always an issue there.  My son is doing terrific, but he is one of the runners on the 4 X 4 team and they run the last race at every meet.  An exciting, but usually poorly attended race because everyone leaves during the 2 mile race right before it.  Last night, it was damp, and then turned rainy and cold.  We stopped for the thunder and lightning, then went back out for the last two races.  The kids are real troopers.  We didn’t eat until 10, then because we were so hungry, we ate too much and didn’t sleep well.  Well, what does that have to do with an herb day sale?  When I was looking for the meet results (although we won the 4 x 4, we came in fifth overall, drat) , I saw an ad in the paper for an Herb Days Sale at Engel’s Landscaping.  We were late getting up, but I convinced my dear husband that it would be nice to take a ride out to this nursery and see what they have.

I had a little trouble finding the herbs because there wasn’t a sign pointing the way to the right greenhouse, but finally, I found some prizes.  I already have some herbs, so I was looking for what I didn’t have, but wouldn’t mind trying.  Engel’s is a small nursery that we haven’t been to before, but it looks like a nice place. I love planting herbs that I can just go out and pick as needed.  If there is time, a bunch of herbs will be dried and put them into containers to use in my winter recipes.   Some herbs come back every year like sage, chives, garlic chives, oregano, thyme, lemon thyme, lemon balm, some mints (in pots) and tarragon.  There are others that I direct seed because they grow so fast, though I will buy small plants too, because I can use them earlier. Basil is an easy grow herb as well as dill and parsley, three of my must haves.  At Engel’s today, I bought – Lemon Basil, lemon grass, nasturtiums, summer savory, arugula, sorrel, fennel, chervil and some mint that will be placed under the deck and hopefully it will spreads to cover the bank. Don’t they all sound delicious?

After we purchased our herbs, we went out to the back porch, where some herb themed things were going on.  Ashville’s Good Friends-Good Thymes Herb Club set up shop.  They had some pamphlets to take, some dried herbs to sell, plus you were able to taste some herbed dishes.  I loved the herbed cream cheese (always one of my fav’s) and the lavender cookies.  Unfortunately the lavender cookie recipe was out darn it.  I’m going to find one though, because it was delicious.

On the porch, the author of 415 Raspberry Picket and the Seven Sacred Seeds, R. L. Patterson had his book set up to peruse and he gave away some free basil seeds.  Basil is used in the book to call forth Prometheus the dragon spirit.  A local artist had some garden decorations made out of bowling balls that were really cute, bumble bees and lady bugs.  They were adorable.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures because I didn’t bring my camera.  My husband said that we should remember to bring the camera with me to grab a photo if I need one.  I wasn’t expecting to post, so I didn’t have notes to go from either, sorry.  It was a small gathering, but a really neat local event and a pleasant sunny trip for us.

Holiday Gift Guide: Global Gardens Gourmet Club

November 22, 2008 - Written by Diana

review-pics 033 Did you ever get to review something, or taste a food or look at pr materials and all you can think is WOW!  That’s how I feel about the Global Gardens Gourmet Club. This would be such a great gift for a foodie, gourmet chef, or just someone who likes to experiment and try new things in their cooking.  Deb, take note, this is what I want my husband to get me for Christmas. Send him this link.  When you subscribe to the Global Gardens Gourmet Club you get a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, an in-season Champagne Fruit Vinegar and two additional items. Every shipment is guaranteed to be worth 50.00 or more, but only costs 39.00 per shipment.  There are 4 shipments during the year, February, May, August and November. Join the Olive Revolution!!

The Holiday 2008 shipment includes: California Estate Mission Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar, Roasted Garlic Spread and Finishing Glaze.

The photo  was from the late summer shipment that consisted of the California Estate Ascolano Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Apricot Champagne Vinegar, Infused Black Truffle Oil, Organic Colossal Garlic.  The bottles were generous in size as was the shipment. 

There’s a Newsletter with Tasting Notes with the shipment. It describes the oils, vinegar, etc and describes ways to use it.

Membership Benefits


Other cool stuff:

This will be a great gift, I know I’ll enjoy it (Deb – it’s up to you now!)

Unexpected garlic

July 27, 2008 - Written by Robin


Like many people, I’m always on the lookout for food with health benefits.  And, like many more people, I absolutely love love love garlic and put it in practically everything I make.  So I was delighted to find out that not only does it ward off vampires, but it is good for you too.


Cloves + Bayleaves + Sage = Natural Insect Repellent

July 2, 2008 - Written by Deb Ng


Did you know bay leaves, sage and cloves are all natural insect repellents? It’s true. You can crush them up and use them by themselves or crush them up and use them together. Put them in bowls and place around your barbecue and picnic to keep the bugs at bay, or burn as a potpourri. You can even put wrap them in a bit a gauze and wear them on your person to deter insects from biting.

Image via Newscom