Morganics Farm is one of the most beautiful places in Orange...possibly Australia. I just love this place, have written about it twice before on this blog (here and here) and think its owners Libby and Ken Morgan are some of the nicest people in Orange... possibly Australia.
So when Libby called this week to say that they were harvesting their scapes and the first of the season's garlic crop, I was there as soon as possible.
Garlic scapes are the curling tops of garlic plants. When picked at the right time (now) they are tender and delicious with a beautiful subtle garlic-y flavour. You can blanch them and toss through a potato salad (as per below), blitz into a pesto (as per below) or add to salads or stir fries as you would green beans or asparagus.
One of the best parts about writing this blog is visiting producers like Libby and Ken and pulling up a chair at their kitchen bench to chat and collect recipes, like these two...
Libby's scape pesto
An absolute winner this one - it's fantastic tossed through pasta with oven-blistered cherry tomatoes, spread on toasted sourdough with a little feta or goat's curd, as a dip for raw vegetables or tossed through warm chickpeas as I plan to do for the Farm Kitchen tomorrow. There is a nice amount of heat to this pesto but the flavours develop and mellow with a day or so. Libby's original recipe called for walnuts but I had none at home so used raw almonds and the results were a little different but still good. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
1 bunch scapes (about 180g), buds trimmed, roughly chopped80g raw almonds (or walnuts)
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oilJuice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Libby's scape, new potato and broad bean salad
This beautiful mellow salad is the best of spring, bringing together freshly picked (uncooked) broad beans, blanched garlic scapes, and a smooth honey and dill dressing. Thanks Libby for sharing this recipe, it's going to be on high rotation here for the next few weeks. Serves 4-6
1 bunch garlic scapes (approx 20)
1 cup broad beans (shelled)
100g feta (we love locally made Second Mouse Cheese Company's feta)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
a scant 1/2 teaspoon of honey1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped dill
Place potatoes in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (check by piercing with a fork or skewer). Meanwhile, shell the broad beans and set aside. Make the dressing by shaking together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard and dill. Just before you drain the potatoes, toss in the scapes and cook for two minutes, then drain and toss with the dressing and broad beans.
Libby and Ken are kicking off their new season of garlic at today's Orange Region Farmers Market and will also be at French's Forest Organic Market, Eveleigh Market and Northside Produce Market right through the season.
Between growing their business, they are also growing their garden (in every sense) and have a growing number of beautiful quarter horses to look after too. As I said, it's pretty fun visiting these guys.
And lastly, if you happen to be in Orange on Sunday, December 8 - and you love garlic (who doesn't!), come along to Australia's inaugural garlic harvest festival co-hosted by Morganics Farm and Canobolas-Smith Wines! It's going to be a delicious day of beautiful wine (including some special older vintages) and food. Think butterflied garlic lamb to garlic eggplant caviar, garlic sausages, garlic pizza, whole roasted garlic and vegetarian options too. Libby and Murray (Canobolas Smith's clever winemaker) have organised live jazz by Into the Blue from 1pm-4pm there will be loads of fresh garlic and garlic braids for sale (great Christmas presents!). Entry is free and families are welcome (BYO picnic rug!). Email Libby for more information.