Garlic Scapes and Gooseberries!

For those of you looking for new ingredients to incorporate into your cooking this spring-into-summer, I’m going to turn back to the unusual classics of cuisine! Spring-into-summer is a great time to try new ingredients, pull out old ones in a new way, or reinvent that delicious dish from your childhood. Let’s take a peek at two delicious ingredients and ways that you can bring fresh fruits and vegetables into your life.

Garlic Scapes are an incredible part of this traditional vegetable that most people overlook. In fact, I was just put on their trail a few days ago, and now I can’t get enough! They’re the twirly, curly, green-onion-y growth of the garlic (that thing that starts to sprout if you let your garlic sit too long). Cut off long before garlic harvesting, these sprouts are actually a delicious ingredient that can be chopped up into pestos, sauces, and other dishes.

Garlic Scapes
So what’s the best way to use garlic scapes? From what I’ve heard and in my personal opinion, it’s by making a pesto. Thick on crackers, thin in soups, pesto is a delicious addition to any lunch or dinner. Throw a dollop into your slow-cooker or spread a layer on a boring sandwich for a garlic-y, basil-y depth that you weren’t expecting!

  • 10 Garlic Scapes
  • 1/3 cup nuts (such as pistachios or almonds)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

Blend and mix for deliciousness that you won’t forget! You’ll never go back to ordinary garlic cloves after this!

And what would summer be without the traditional but oft o’erlooked Gooseberry? Even better, let’s throw these tart-sweet treats into a pie that will wow any of your neighbours! These fuzzy berries can be used when they are firm and tart or soft and sweet, so be conscious of what sort of gooseberries you’re picking to put in your pie, as you may want to add or remove sugar tending to their ripeness.

Gooseberry Pie
I’m going to take this recipe from AllRecipes, but I’ve altered it, so if you would like to look at the original, go here. So, let’s take a peek at this pie, shall we?

  • 3 cups gooseberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 tblsp quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • double crust pastry
  • 2 tblsp milk
  • 1 further tblsp sugar

Gooseberries

  1. Stem and rinse berries.
  2. Crush 1/2 cup berries in the bottom of a saucepan. Combine sugar, tapioca, and salt; mix with crushed berries. Cook and stir until mixture boils. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat, and add in remaining whole berries.
  3. Pour fruit filling into pastry. Adjust top crust , cut slits for escape of steam. Brush with milk and sugar.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 40-45 minutes.

Good luck with your gooseberries and garlic scapes! Now you have two great recipes to try out and cook as the weather starts to get hot. Celebrate a ripe season with these great recipes and feel free to leave any comments about posts you’re interested in. We’d love to hear about what themes are your favourites and what you’d like us to write more about! Cheers!

-A.

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3 Sandwich Recipes for Every Lunch

Are you looking for a quick sandwich fix? Never fear, I have a few delicious tried-and-true  Martha Stewart sandwich recipes that are fast and easy for those on the run for lunchtime treats!  Great to pack for mid-day picnics (or on the workdesk) or little-prep for unexpected guests, these sandwiches are for every occasion. I can never let Martha go, I’m afraid, so let me at least share my discoveries with you!

Pressed Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich
Mozzarella Sandwich

No panini press needed! A little lengthy in preparation. Make in the morning for a great picnic!

  • 2 tblsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 c. sun dried tomatoes, reserving 1 tblsp oil
  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread, split horizontally and hollowed out
  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard and oil until thick. Spread on bread.
  2. Layer bottom half of bread with some of the lettuce, then cheese, tomatoes, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining lettuce and bread.
  3. Wrap sandwich tightly in plastic and place on a baking sheet. Top with another baking sheet and weigh down with canned goods.
  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight to meld flavours. Cut in half, serve.

Chicken and Marinated-Zucchini Sandwich
Zucchini Sandwich

Less time intensive, but still needing to marinate. Tasty and unusual! I adored the chordette.

  • 1 zucchini/chordette
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tblsp lemon zest
  • 2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb chicken cutlets
  • Handful of chopped toasted almonds
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 loaf Italian bread
  • Romaine lettuce
  1. Slice the zucchini/chordette into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Combine with the red onion, lemon zest, and lemon juice, with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, season 1 lb chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and broil until cooked through. Let cool, then shred and add marinated zucchini along with almonds and parsley.
  3. Cut 1 loaf Italian bread in half horizontally and hollow out. Make a sandwich.

Ham, Brie, and Apple Triple Decker Sandwich
Ham Brie and Apple SandwichThe quickest sandwich I can offer you! Delicious as always!

  • Brie cheese, sliced
  • Tart apple, sliced
  • 3 slices pumpernickel bread
  • Ham, thinly sliced
  • Fruit chutney
  1. Layer cheese and apple onto 1 slice toasted bread. Top with another toasted slice, then ham. Spread chutney on a third toasted slice and place on top. Enjoy!

-A.

Recipes and Photographs Courtesy Of:

http://www.marthastewart.com/315629/pressed-mozzarella-and-tomato-sandwich

http://www.marthastewart.com/317575/chicken-and-marinated-zucchini-sandwich

http://www.marthastewart.com/342378/ham-brie-and-apple-triple-decker-sandwic

Recipes from the Finnish Kitchen

For those of you who are wondering “Where the hell is Finland?”, I can tell you that after you try these recipes, you won’t be wondering anymore! My family owned a bakery in Southern Finland, a nation lodged between the ‘charming’ neighbours of Sweden and Russia. It’s a quiet place, with lots of saunas, alcohol, coffee, and fish. I thought that I’d share these two delightful recipes with you from our family’s bakery, just recently sold, so that everyone can enjoy the unique deliciousness of Finnish delights!
Pulla Pitko

Pulla Pitko (Finnish Coffee Bread)

Pulla is a central part of the Finnish dining experience. And let me tell you, it’s called coffee bread for a reason. In Finland, you are served at least 3 cups of coffee in one sitting, and a 7-cup day is not unusual, especially in the sun-less winter days. Since this is an old family recipe, it’s, well, a little vague. My mother, a non-Finn, tried to specify everything a bit, but she still suggests using Finnish measuring cups. It’s definitely worth the hassle!

Bread

  • 1 and 1/2 eggs
  • 2 and 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cardamom (5 ml size tsps)
  • 1 pckg dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 17 Dl flour

Toppings

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Slivered almonds
  • Crushed sugar
  • Raisins (optional)

Pulla

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, adding the flour in last, until it forms a soft dough. Mix only with your hands. It will fail to stick once it is ready.
  2. Put the mixture in a greased bowl, turn once, then cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled. This will take about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down and knead a little to get the air bubbles out.
  4. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper, and prepare toppings.
  5. Cut the dough in half, then cut in half again. Roll each section into a rope, then braid. It should make 2 pitkot, or loaves.
  6. Brush with the egg and apply toppings.
  7. Let sit for 10-20 minutes while oven warms, then bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for 25 minutes. Do not overbake to avoid dry pulla.
  8. Serve with coffee.

Piparkakut

Hyvät Piparkakut (Finnish Pepper Cookies)

Crisp, spicy pepper cookies! Everyone’s favourite every time. You’ll never go back to ginger snaps again! Give them a try to bring exotic Scandinavian goodness to your next bake sale, because this makes 8 dozen!

  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 9 cups flour
  1. Preheat to 375 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Combine syrup, spices, butter, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Cool.
  4. Stir in egg, heavy cream, baking soda, and flour. Chill overnight.
  5. Roll out very thin, using about 1/2 cup dough at a time, and cut into various shapes.
  6. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 Farenheit for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are crisp but not overly browned. Makes 8 dozen 2 inch cookies.

Piparkakut-A.

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