Last summer when I was just reading blogs and hadn’t yet taken the plunge to writing my own, interesting produce (Ramps! Green Garlic! Fiddleheads!) was creeping into my favorites which of course inspired me to seek out the unusual at the market. I have definitely embraced that philosophy this season.
Take these radishes for example. First off, aren’t they just simply gorgeous? They are called “easter egg radishes” which is just the perfect name. 2 weeks ago, I didn’t like radishes. I just remembered them as bitter little disks that my Mom would sneak into my salads as a kid and I would avoid. But these and the french breakfast radishes of a few weeks back are an entirely different thing all together. Yes they are spicy and a little bitter but thinly sliced and mixed with crisp, fresh lettuce and chopped carrots, they make the perfect salad that just tastes like spring sunshine.
I’m not the only one who is a new fan of radishes. Lucy also seems to be a convert. However, this post isn’t about these amazing strawberries…
…but rather about a simple green garlic pesto. Green garlic is the early spring garlic that eventually turns into the normal bulbs of garlic that we all use day to day. The green garlic that I bought still had the scapes attached. I thought about what I wanted to make with my impulse buy and I of course quickly settled on pesto.
Pesto is so versatile and so easy. For this version I just chopped up the green garlic (I will leave the tough stalks out next time) added in a handful of walnuts, some parm, salt, pepper and olive oil and gave it a quick blend in my baby food processor (can’t wait to have a kitchen that will warrant a full sized).
After just a few minutes the pesto is ready to toss with a bowl of pasta. The best part about this version is that since it doesn’t have any basil in it like typical pesto, the leftovers are less likely to brown when kept in a jar with a little glug of olive oil on the top.
Green Garlic Pesto
Adapted from Garlic Scape Pesto at Eggs on Sunday
1 cup chopped green garlic (do the bulbs and the scapes and not the tough stalks like I did)
1/3 cup walnuts
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated or diced
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Blend everything but the olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Slowly drizzle in the oil with the motor running, and blend until emulsified and smooth. Add oil until you get your desired consistency. Taste and add kosher salt and pepper as you like. Store in a jar with a little extra oil on top.