I love a good vegetable pun and this one is perfect for Valentine’s Day. This is a delicious and easy meal to make for your sweetheart and it pairs well with an earthy Pinot Noir. Nothing says I love you like this bright and beautiful, heart-healthy meal.
Since garlic scapes are not in season in February, I use frozen pesto that I have stashed away for winter meals. If you don’t have garlic scape pesto, simply use any store-bought pesto and add some garlic to your dish when you are sautéing the onion.
Ingredients: 3 cups vegetable broth 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 cup arborio rice ½ cup red wine 2 medium to large roasted beets, diced ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper 1 tablespoon garlic scape pesto Parmesan cheese, grated for serving
Warm vegetable broth in a small stock pot over low heat.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent.
Add the rice and stir to combine with the onions. Add red wine and continue stirring until absorbed.
Add a ladle full of broth, stirring constantly until absorbed. Continue, slowly adding broth and stirring for about 25 minutes, until all broth has been added and the rice is soft but still has a bite.
Add diced beets, salt and pepper, stirring to combine until risotto is bright red in color.
Spread garlic scape pesto around the edge of the plate, making a full circle. Fill the center of the circle with risotto and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
If you love garlic, you’ll love my take on a traditional pesto using garlic scapes instead of basil. For a quick dinner, add a couple of tablespoons pesto to cooked pasta and top with grilled or sautéed shrimp. Whip up a simple and delicious appetizer by spreading this pesto over baguettes slices and topping with sautéed mushrooms. Serve it up for breakfast in an omelet with black beans and spinach. The possibilities are endless and this pesto freezes well to use in future meals.
10 garlic scapes ½ cup walnuts, toasted ⅓ cup cotija cheese, crumbled 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly ground salt and pepper ⅓ cup olive oil
Trim garlic scapes at the base of the bulb, discarding the tops. Roughly chop the long stems. Place garlic scapes in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Add walnuts, cotija cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil while processing until the ingredients are well blended.
Serve or freeze. To freeze, fill mini-muffin tin cups ¾ full and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove and store pesto in a freezer-safe container until ready to use.
Move over croutons, cornbread tastes better with this hearty salad. Garlic lovers will love the sautéed garlic scapes along with tangy ranch, crunchy bacon and buttery lima beans. It’s a perfect meal to make with leftover cornbread and grilled chicken. If you have extra cornbread, store it in the freeze and defrost for future salads.
Salad Dressing Ingredients: ⅔ cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt ¼ cup buttermilk 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic scapes or green onion ½ teaspoon dried dill ¼ teaspoon white pepper ⅛ teaspoon salt
Salad Ingredients: 2 teaspoons olive oil 3 tablespoons garlic scapes or green onion, sliced 1 large head green leaf lettuce, leaves separated and torn Cornbread, prepared 1¼ pound chicken breast, grilled 1½ cups lima beans, prepared from fresh, frozen or canned 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, buttermilk, vinegar, garlic, green onion, dill, pepper and salt. Whisk until well combined. Cover and refrigerate salad dressing until ready to serve.
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic scapes or green onion slices and sauté until lightly browned.
Place an equal amount of lettuce on four plates and add a slice of cornbread in the middle. Top each plate with ¼ of chicken, lima beans, bacon and sautéed garlic scapes. Drizzle with ranch dressing and serve.