Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta

Something I have been meaning to try for a long time now is a garlic scape. Scapes are the stalk and flower head of a garlic plant that growers chop off so the plant concentrates its efforts on growing the bulb instead of flowers. Cook them a bit like asparagus and they are delicious on their own but the internet is full of recipes for scape pesto so I just had to give it a go, especially as the Little Larry's love pesto. We had some parmesan cheese leftover in the fridge and some chickpeas so it all went in the food processor with a few additional ingredients and this is what we ended up with.


Pasta of choice
Parmesan cheese, 25g grated for the pesto with a bit left over to shave for topping
Chickpeas, half a tin
Basil leaves, a good handful
Flat leaf parsley, another good handful, leaves separated from stalks. Stalks are for the pesto, leaves for the garnish.
1/2 Lemon juice
3x Garlic scapes, chopped up
1/5 tbsp Cold pressed rape seed oil
Good pinch of salt and pepper


1. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions
2. To make the pesto simply bung all the remaining ingredients into a food processor and whiz it up.
3. When the pasta is cooked drain it but leave a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan. Mix through a good spoonful of the pesto then plate up. Top with parmesan shavings, parsley leaves, a dribble of rapeseed oil, some cracked black pepper and sea salt.

Garlic Scapes courtesy of The Garlic Farm

Isle of Wight Garlic Soup

I first experienced Spanish garlic soup at The Trinidad restaurant near Arboleas in Spain and I was amazed at its simplicity yet deliciousness. The fact that it had a poached egg in just made it even better, I had never seen anything like it before and I loved it. This version uses three types of Isle of Wight garlic, being the cloves, the scapes and fermented black garlic, however you can simply use plain old white garlic from the supermarket instead.

(serves 2)

4x Large cloves of garlic
2x Garlic scapes, thinly sliced
2x Cloves of black garlic, finely diced
2x Eggs
2x Thick slices of bread, for croutons
50g Chorizo, diced
700ml Chicken stock, hot
1tbsp Plain flour
1tbsp Parsley stalks, finely diced
Parsley leaves to garnish
Rapeseed oil
Black pepper
White vinegar to poach the eggs


1. Cut the bread into 1" cubes, place on a baking try and drizzle with oil. Bake on gas mark 6 for about 10-15 minutes until browned.
2. In a saucepan gently fry in oil the garlic cloves and chorizo for about 2 minutes.
3. Add the flour and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring all the time.
4. Pour in a little of the stock to dissolve the flour then pour the rest in and stir well.
5. Now chuck in the parsley stalks and allow to simmer.
6. Bring a separate pan 2/3rds full of water to just bubbling then pour in a good glug of vinegar and pop your eggs in to poach.
7. Now add your scapes to the soup and season if needed with salt and black pepper.
8. When the eggs are done (about 3 mins) plate up. Pour the soup into bowls, top with the croutons and poached egg then garnish with the parsley leaves, black garlic and a few drops of nice oil.

Tip: Use the leftover vinegar from your pickled eggs for poaching, it works a treat.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Tomato Caprese

A typical tomato caprese consists of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves and olive oil. The Isle of Wight is well known for growing good tomatoes so this is my IoW version using Isle of Wight soft cheese instead of mozzarella, British cold pressed rapeseed oil instead of olive oil, and I'm adding a spot of The Garlic Farm black garlic. As this holiday is all about garlic I steeped a clove of garlic in the rapeseed oil for half an hour beforehand, just to add an extra garlic kick.


Tomatoes (the bigger the better)
Soft cheese, sliced
Basil leaves, whole
Black garlic cloves, sliced
Cold pressed rapeseed oil, 1 tbsp
Small clove of garlic, snapped in half (optional)
Sea salt (I used the black stuff)


1. Steep the garlic clove in the oil for about half an hour.
2. Slice everything up and plate up.
3. Pour the garlic oil over the salad then sprinkle over the sea salt.

Now just pick up a piece of each ingredient between your thumb and forefinger and shove the lot in your mouth. Yum!