As promised here are some recipes for a couple of delicious summertime additions to the kitchen. First is Baby Carrot Top and Basil Pesto. A nice treat in the early summer when early basil is ready and the carrot tops haven't become bitter. You will need the following:
A bunch of basil.
A bunch of baby carrots with the greens still attached.
You will need some sort of garlic. At this time of year that means Garlic Scapes. This is essentially the seed stalk of the garlic plant. It's more complicated than that but essentially that covers it. But it's edible. In fact the entire plant from bulb to greens to scape is edible. So for now, until the bulbs begin to be harvested in August you can use the scapes. Below is the Parker Family Recipe.
Baby Carrot Top and Basil Pesto.
1/4 bunch Parker Family Farm Baby Carrots with Greens
1/4 bunch Parker Family Farm Fresh Basil
1 stalk Garlic Green
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 tbs organic olive oil
3 tbs pine nuts or salted cashews (if using cashews leave out the tsp salt).
Remove the leaves from the stems of the basil and place in a food processor. Remove tops from carrots and place greens in processor with basil leaves. Remove the roots from the garlic greens stalk and chop coarsely. Add garlic to processor to taste. (remember that the white part of the garlic green is stronger than the green leaves at the tip) Add all other ingredients to food processor. Process on high until smooth. Add to chicken, pork chops/ham or combine with vinaigrette mixture for grilled romaine.
FYI, carrot tops are incredibly high in nutrients that other leafy greens lack, such as potassium, due to the deep reaching tap root of the carrot. Thus, you can increase the benefits of pesto by adding carrot tops. Young, tender tops are best as they loose their sweetness later in the season.
Next is a new discovery for us that is quite a nice surprise. Grilled Romaine. One of my customers at the Hampden Farmer's Market suggested it a couple weeks ago. I came home, looked up some recipes, gave it my own twist and the rest is, well, delicious.
Remove the stem up to the bottom leaves. Be sure to leave enough of the stem that the leaves remain intact. Using a sharp knife, remove the top 1-2 inches of the lettuce head in one, even cut. Combine the following in a small bowl: 1 tbs organic olive oil, 1 tbs organic vinaigrette (flavor of your choice), salt and pepper to taste, 1 tbs minced garlic leaves or garlic cloves. Using a basting brush, coat the entire outside of the romaine evenly. Place on the rack of a preheated grill and cook for 4-5 minutes turning occasionally. Be sure to watch the romaine closely while cooking to avoid the oil catching fire. Remove from the grill and carefully cut the lettuce into quarters the long way. Sprinkle with Kenona Farm Goat Cheese and serve immediately.