June 10, 2011

Garlic Scape Pesto Penne with Cauliflower

Wow, that's appetizing looking...
In searching for something to do with the five garlic scapes I received in week one's CSA bag, I found that most people suggested making garlic scape pesto. I decided to use Dorie Greenspan's recipe as a guide. (Dorie has a great description of garlic scapes on that page if you aren't familiar with them.) I only had whole roasted, salted almonds, so my pesto had brown specks from the almond skins. I didn't measure anything (I find that when I first started cooking I insisted on measuring EVERYTHING. Now, I get so annoyed at having to wash all the measuring cups and spoons that I just dump in however much I want!) I knew I wanted to use my pesto as a pasta sauce, so I purposefully stopped adding oil when it was thick and chunky, so I could thin it with pasta water later. The pesto by itself was flavorful and packed a punch. The almonds paired beautifully with the fresh, spicy garlic scapes.

I had a head of cauliflower I wanted to use up and didn't feel like turning on the oven, so roasting was out of the question. (Oh, the tragedies of life.) I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and decided to try to cook the cauliflower as Deb suggests. I included an onion as in the recipe, but omitted the red pepper flakes (yuck!), the garlic (got enough of that already!), the lemon juice (if I had had a lemon on hand, I would have included), the walnuts, and the cheese. The cauliflower and onion took forever to cook and only got slightly brown. I loved the flavor the white wine vinegar gave the cauliflower and I think if I had had lemon, it would have been even better.

Overall this dish was good and made a ton of food (and I only made a half pound of pasta). The flavor of the garlic scape pesto got really mild with the addition of the pasta water, which was kind of disappointing, seeing as it was so strong and flavorful by itself.

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