So, Day 27 in the Paleo Diet Challenge. I’ve mentioned before that I like getting a CSA box because it pushes me outside of my kitchen comfort zone, a little. Take garlic scapes. Not something you see at a big box supermarket, or even your local green grocer. Last year garlic scapes definitely had me stumped. I think we ended up chopping into a stir fry. Ho hum.
This year, when I we got the garlic scapes in late June, I thought I’d aim for something more creative, at least a little. Turns out that garlic scapes make a fine pesto, and I made one based on a recipe from Dorie Greenspan.
But when I tasted the pesto, I was a little taken aback. Garlic scapes are supposed to be milder tasting than the bulbs. What I had created was really strong, with a pungent garlicky smell and taste that made me think great, first I didn’t know what to do with the scapes…and now I don’t know what to do with this pesto. I parked it in the fridge and forgot about it. (Well, mostly. It still glanced at it practically every time I opened the fridge.)
I was feeling a little lazy today, and it was getting too late to make anything elaborate. When I looked in the fridge and saw the garlic scape pesto starting at me, again, I thought okay, here we go. It’s just me for dinner, so who would mind if I have a serious case of after-dinner garlic breath, except maybe the cat?
With some prawns, a tomato, and a few zucchini ribbons standing in for pasta, the pesto made a very quick, Paleo-friendly meal. The best part, and the biggest surprise, was how the pesto had mellowed. Really. It had toned down considerably from when I first made it, and now was pleasant and very, very mild.
And it didn’t give me bad garlic breath either. (I knew you’d be wondering.)
This recipe can be easily doubled. If you need to scale it up even further, I'd suggest sauteeing the prawns in their own pan so they don't have to compete for space with the zucchini ribbons.
- 2 small zucchini, peeled lengthwise (about 5 oz of ribbons)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup garlic scape pesto
- 6-8 prawns, shelled
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Using a vegetable peeler, make the zucchini ribbons: Peel the zucchini lengthwise, down one side until you get to the center and then down the other.
- In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomato and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until it has cooked down and released some juices.
- Add the zucchini ribbons and saute for 1 minute until they soften slightly.
- Add 1/4 cup of the garlic scape pesto and stir it in so it evenly coats the zucchini ribbons. Continue cooking for another few minutes until the zucchini has released some juices, but is slightly firmer than 'al dente'.
- Push the zucchini ribbons and tomato to one side of the saute pan, and add the prawns. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the prawns are firm and pink. Add another few tablespoons of pesto if you like, and stir in to coat the prawns and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
More on the Paleo diet challenge:
Why I’m doing it in the first place
My plan for the 30 days
Garlic scape image from The Coast, via Google Images.