Tuesday, June 30, 2009


When I asked the guy at the produce stand at the farmers' market if it was ok for me to take a picture of the garlic scapes he told me it was fine. Actually he said something more to the effect that he wouldn't ask them to sign a waiver. After I took the picture he wanted to take a look and then he asked me what I did with them. I told him I made them into a pesto. He said he used them in mashed potatoes and then we talked pesto. He asked me how the garlic scape pesto was different from regular pesto. I talked about the garlickyness of the scapes so then he asked how it was different than regular garlic.
What? A garlic pesto? Who's this crazy man?
I struggled and said something about how it would be more green a couple of times, more green, a green fluorescent color, as if that said everything about how it would taste. The taste of chlorophyll.
Actually, I had never thought to make a garlic pesto. When you say pesto it's usually taken to mean basil, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and maybe a clove or two of garlic. Could be something else green but that only if you were cutting edge crazy like I thought I was. I had ventured into arugula, kale and scapes (not a fan of onion scape pesto). And here was this guy suggesting it could be bone white. I considered and decided to give it a go.
Later I found out that the word pesto comes from the Italian for pound, crush. I made pestos with both.
They were both spicy though the garlic pesto was hotter, the bring tears to your eyes kind of spicy, it would be perfect spread onto toasted bread or with a rare steak. It didn't taste quite as...green. I like the taste of green so will take the scape route while they're in season.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peel Back the Onion

Been thinking about onions.

I was curious about the layers. How many are there? Are they like tree rings? Is there a ring formed per week? Per month? Where's the logic?

This one had thirteen, counting the outermost paper layers. We don't eat the outermost ones though it seems that the only difference between them and the innermost is the amount of moisture they hold.

Have I missed my calling? Should I have become a food scientist? Or am I completely off base?

When the alphabet loops back around I may have to post something about my future experiments with hydrating onion skin. These outer layers might make a handy tapas delivery device.

Back to the layers - I've read that the number of layers is determined by the number of leaves an onion has. I'm still not satisfied - why thirteen leaves (if that is, indeed the case)? Aren't the leaves part of the ring anyway? And are they really called leaves?