I just made bruschetta and want to share the recipe. Before we go there, however, we need a lesson on how to pronounce, “bruschetta.” I used to say “BROO-shett-uh.”  That is incorrect. After ordering a delish rendition of bruschetta at Dolce Vita in Boston’s North End, I have learned to say it correctly. (If you get the chance to go there, GO! Franco rocks, and sings to the crowd. Much fun to be had by all!) 

Ready? Here we go…”Br(roll that ‘r’)oo-SKETT-tuh.” Now, kiss all your fingertips (and thumbtip, is that considered a finger in an example such as this? I think it is, but, whatever, all five of them) at the same time, then pull your hand away and flare your fingers out into a jazz hand. This is a terrible, stereotypical gesture I have learned from movies and television and I use it here without shame.

So, here is the DaisyPatch version of the Dolce Vita bruschetta.

1 loaf Italian bread (I bought a fresh loaf that was soft. You can buy the crusty kind (is that French? Well THAT won’t work. This is an Italian recipe) but I avoid the crusty kind because it shreds the roof of my mouth. Like Captain Crunch. Ouch. That stuff was painful. How did that get on the market in the first place, I ask you? That cereal inflicted injury. Did I digress?) Slice and then toast in the broiler until just lightly browned (too brown and we’ll get that shredded roof of the mouth thing again.)

1 clove garlic, minced

3-4 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil – chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme – removed from the stem

1 shallot (or a teensy red onion), chopped

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

coarse salt

fresh ground pepper

*Note- I don’t measure. I completely eyeballed it, but I think that looks about right.

Mix the garlic, tomatoes, shallot, basil, thyme in a bowl. Add olive oil. Let sit.

Reduce the balsamic vinegar in a pan over the stove until it starts to look thick. Cool. It will get a bit thicker as it cools. You want it thick like honey.

When you are ready to serve, put the veggie mixings on the toasted bread, salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with a little balsamic. Serve it up.

And say it with me. Bruschetta. (Don’t forget the hand gesture – kiss, pull, jazz). Molto bene.

(Author note: I am exceptionally proud of these. All veggies and herbs were ours. And they were delicioso.)

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My garlic haiku…ahem…

The dream of garlic

Fragrancing my dinner plate

The smell of comfort

It is time to harvest the garlic. How do I know? They told me. Well, not in words, although, I am sure you, gentle reader, (if you have been reading this little site) would not be surprised if I confessed the vegetables spoke to me. Once 1/3 of the tops of the greens are yellow, pull ’em out baby.

Here’s the process.

1. Notice the yellowed, droopy tops.

2. Holding your hand at the base of the greens, gently pull the greens upward. If it is holding firm, you might need to loosen the soil around the bulb. I use a gloved finger, not wanting to spear the bulb with my trowel. This is easier on a dry day.

3. Gently lay all the bulbs, with their tops, in a cool, dry place, preferably up off the ground. We have a hammock that is strung between 2 trees and I have found that to be the perfect location. Don’t bounce them around a lot. They’re easily bruised at this stage.

4. Let them set. I leave them on the hammock overnight (as long as it doesn’t rain). This setting will get the papery husks to dry a bit. Don’t peel them! That will protect the bulbs. Peel them when you are ready to eat.

5. Carefully brush the dirt from the bulbs. A paint brush easily does the trick. It is ok if they still have a bit of dirt on them. You don’t want to fuss too much.

6. Braid them up. Tie at the top of the braid and hang them from the ceiling in a cool, dark place.

7. To use them, snip from the braid.

Shallots


It has been a long time since I wrote a haiku. Here we go…ahem…

Fragrant garlic scapes

Unsure how to cook with you

Had no luck before

When we were part of the CSA (that failed experiment I’ve mentioned before), we were introduced to garlic scapes. They are the flower and stem of a garlic bulb that farmers remove so that the plant directs its energy toward the bulb and not the flower. The bulb is the goodness (but I know I don’t have to tell YOU that, gentle reader). Anyhoo, the CSA sent us home with scapes for a few weeks in a row with mentions of, “Garlic Scape Pesto, mmmmmm.” Well, I tried to make that. The scapes were sort of grainy, even, dare I say, woody. They were still green, but, well, stiff and no matter how much I boiled or sauteed them, I didn’t like the texture of the pesto. It was like eating pasta with flavored, green wood shaving sauce. (I have this texture-thing with food. Bamboo shoots, for example, have been invented by Satan to ruin my food with their grainy, crunchy grittiness. Ewww. Putting fruit chunks in ice cream is equivalent, in my book, to boiling live kittens. Wrong. Very wrong. And gross. Powdered mashed potatoes…you get my point.)

So, the garlic scape pesto was inedible. Here we are and it is garlic scape season. They’re patiently sitting in the fridge, waiting to be transformed from deliciously garlicky flavor-sticks (they smell fantastic, like a combination of pea pods and super mild garlic) into something edible.

First, here’s the process of procuring a garlic scape.

Step 1. Notice the garlic scape.

Step 2. Cut and save the garlic scape.

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Step 3. Use the garlic scape. This is where I’m lost. I need to do some hunting for recipes. If you have one. Please share. If I find any that work, I will post them.