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Keeping with the theme of yesterday’s post, I have more photo guessing for you to do. Do you know what the above photo is? I’ll give you some clues:

  • it’s a springtime vegetable of sorts
  • it is part of a plant that we normally eat the bulb of
  • it has a nice little “kick”

Give up? If you guessed garlic scapes, you’re right! What are garlic scapes, you may be asking? Basically, they are the green shoots of the garlic plant. Flavour and texture-wise, they’re best described as a curly green bean with a mild garlic flavour (I can’t take credit for that, it’s what the lady at the market told me back when I first bought them). They’re only available for a few weeks in the spring, so if you see these guys, jump on them if you get the chance!

I was blessed enough to be able to “double-dip” on farmer’s markets this week. Because of my work schedule, I was able to make it to my Thursday market in Simcoe (which I usually miss) AND Brantford’s Farmer’s Market on Friday…SCORE!

I used the scapes and more of Thursday’s purchases to make a KILLER springtime spaghetti. IMG_1790Truly, other than salt and pepper, all of the ingredients are in this photo (quantities are for one person):

  • 2 ounces dry whole wheat spaghetti
  • fresh garlic scapes, chopped
  • fresh asparagus, chopped
  • fresh peas, shelled
  • lemon zest and juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup light ricotta
  • a couple of sprigs fresh thyme

This pasta is completely vegetarian, satisfying enough for supper, but light enough that it would make a lovely spring lunch. And it came together SO fast! I put the water on as I was starting to sauté the veggies, and then wished I had started it sooner…it came together that quickly!IMG_1791 So all you do is…

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package directions (confession: I broke the noodles in half before cooking….any Italians reading have my permission to wag your finger and scoff).

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and scapes, sauté for a few minutes, then add the peas. When vegetables just start to get tender and barely brown, zest in some lemon peel, then squeeze in the juice of half the lemon. Add the thyme leaves (removed from stems), season with salt and pepper, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.

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Add a nice splash of starchy cooking water, then add in the cooked spaghetti. Crank the heat up a little bit more, then squeeze in more lemon juice. Just before serving, stir in the ricotta, heat through, and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.

 

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Put the pasta in your serving bowl, and add one more shot of lemon juice (I found that adding the juice at different stages really brightened up the flavour). Mmmm….super spring-y (and very verdant, don’t you agree? ).Winking smile

 

Speaking of verdant, Donna requested the recipe for the lime cookies I talked about yesterday. IMG_1794They were lime meltaways from Martha Stewart (I have and love her cookie book). I found the recipe online here though (saves me typing). The quantities aren’t the same, but I figure they’re both Martha cookies, so you’ll get the same end result, right? These cookies are basically like an incredibly rich, buttery shortbread, with a nice hit of lime and a delicate powdered sugar coating…perfection for any lime lover! Warning: when coating in the icing sugar, a few of these guys will break on you. You’ll be left with a few broken pieces…I’ll leave you to decide what to do with them. Winking smile

One warm fuzzy moment to leave you with from my market double dip: IMG_1808there are several of the same vendors at both markets. One of my favourites, Dan the Mushroom Man and I always chat and say hello….and when I showed up yesterday, he said he had a surprise for me….then went and bought me THESE! Isn’t that so sweet? I love the market!

I hope that something equally as lovely has happened (or will happen) to you this weekend!

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