Welcome to our first farm to table dinner post! This year, the lovely ladies of Common Plate (that’s us!) decided to split a CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) share from Strites Orchard in Harrisburg, PA. We plan to use items from the CSA each week to make an original Farm to Table dinner. Below are the recipes we used to create our first installment of our new weekly series: Farm to Table Friday!
Penne with Garlic Scape Pesto and Peas
Grilled London Broil*
*The London Broil has nothing to do with the CSA, but we marinated it and grilled it to medium rare. It was delicious!
Penne with Garlic Scape Pesto and Peas
Our CSA box included some interesting items this week. We got got fresh shelled peas and garlic scapes. I had never even heard of a garlic scape, but through my research about it I learned that it’s best used to make pesto or hummus. I decided to go with pesto.
Please note that all amounts are estimated. You may need to adjust as you go
- About 6 garlic scapes
- 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
- 1/2 cup shredded parmiaggiano reggiano cheese
- 1/3 cup roasted unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
- Salt and pepper to taste.
When I made this pesto I first tried to do it in the blender which did not work. I currently only own a 2 cup food processor, so I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it all fit, but I found it was better to work in the processor in small batches than the blender blunder.
The first thing we did was shell all the peas, then steam them until they were done. Then we put them to the side.
To make the pesto don’t use a blender like I started out, just go right to the food processor.
Start with the almonds and get them well ground, add in the salt, pepper and basil. Chop a few times, then add in the garlic scapes. To use the scapes chop them up into smaller pieces before adding them in.
Next, after grinding the scapes a few times, add in the olive oil, then finally the Parmesan cheese. It’s okay if the mixture is kind of thick, because when the pesto is heated it will cover the pasta well.
To make the final pasta, start with the pasta of your choice, long or short. I chose Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Corn Pasta. Boil the pasta according to the directions, drain, then set aside. Start by putting some olive oil or butter in a large saute pan. Add the peas, then add the pasta and the pesto. Turn gently until all pasta is covered, and voila! There you go, a delicious side dish! Cover it with grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp for a great entree.
I had never seen, eaten, or prepared kohlrabi before… heck, I’m not even sure if I had ever even heard of it before it showed up on our CSA preview list! But part of the fun of belonging to a CSA is getting to try new things, so I determined to make a kohlrabi side dish. How hard could it be, right?
Once it arrived, however, I realized that I REALLY had no idea what I was doing. The thing looked like an alien. Several Google searches and helpful Youtube videos later, I decided to tackle sautéed kohlrabi. Thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy to prepare once you realize that it is not, in fact, an alien life form.
Step One: Remove any leaves from the bulb (ours came pre-removed). From what I’ve learned, the leaves can also be prepared, but the bulb seems to be the most popular part.
Step Two: Use a knife or vegetable peeler to remove the tough, pale green skin on the bulb. Then cut the bulb into thin, matchstick-like spears.
Step Three: Boil the kohlrabi in salted water until softened (about 5-10 minutes), then drain, pat dry, and set aside.
Step Four: Melt enough butter to cover the bottom of a frying pan. Add some minced shallots, and heat until fragrant.
Step Five: Add the kohlrabi to the frying pan, and sauté until it begins to turn golden. Sprinkle a pinch nutmeg on top, and toss to combine.
Kohlrabi has a texture similar to a potato, and the taste is what you might expect if a broccoli and a parsnip had a (very tasty) lovechild. The mildness of the kohlrabi plays well with the butter, and the nutmeg gives it just enough of a kick to pull out some the earthiness of the flavor. New favorite vegetable? I think so!
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We hope you enjoyed the first installment of Farm to Table Friday!