Saturday, June 26, 2010

My garden is dancing!

The garlic scapes began to twirl this week. A magnificent Swan Lake ballet in my garden. The prevailing wisdom is, if you leave the scapes on the garlic, the energy of the plant will go to the flower and you'll get smaller cloves.

I decided to harvest some of my scapes, leaving a few to flower so I could plant the bulbils from the flower next season.

That meant one thing. Stew. I recently inherited this fabulous Michael Lax casserole. It wanted to be put to use again.

Herbs from the garden. Parsley.

Fresh thyme.

The scapes provide a perfect hint of garlic flavor without overwhelming.

Shallots and wine are the secret to any great stew.

Salt and pepper a shank of meat, then sear in extra virgin olive oil. Remove from pot. Set aside.

I leave the marrow in the pot to continue to flavor the base. Add the scapes.

Add shallots. The more, the merrier. As they caramelize they'll add a sweet richness to the stew.

Return the meat to the pot, and add the other fixin's. Here's my riff on Ossobuco in progress. Herbs freshly cut from the garden: thyme, parsley, scallions and garlic scapes. Red wine, dash of Worcester Sauce, cup of homemade beef stock, bay leaf, shallots and a slab of sweet butter to complete the flavor profile. The bone marrow takes care of the rest.

Add new potato, baby carrots, french beans, celery and tomatoes, as you see fit. I also tossed in a few beet greens snipped from my garden. Bring everything to a hard boil on the stovetop before covering and baking in the oven for an hour and a half at 325 - 350. Enjoy! I always sop up the gravy with crusty fresh homemade bread. Easily made with Sullivan Bakery's no knead recipe, which I highly recommend! Here's a loaf I made in the same Michael Lax cast iron pot.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The new plot thickens

Many exciting changes in 2010 and a new garden was one of them. I've moved from sandy soil to dense clay. Tons of peat moss and amendments required for the new plot. I supplemented with homemade organic compost.

The lettuces came up quickly. Romaine, Mesclun, Red Oak.

Failures with peppers and carrots, but success with potatoes, fennel and beets.

Triple mix in empty gallon pots provided more valuable real estate for planting.