Have you tried garlic scapes? If you are a garlic lover like me, you’ll find this yearly delicacy right now (early to late spring) at your farmer’s market or green grocer. Young, tender scapes can be chopped into salads or used as a topping like you would scallions. Mature scapes can be treated like asparagus – sautéed lightly and tossed into pasta or a egg dish, mixed with cooked greens, pickled or in any dish that would be complimented by garlic. My favorite way to use scapes is in this garlic scape pesto.
There is nothing tastier to brighten up a meal in the dead of winter than a refreshing orange. Citrus is in abundance in supermarkets right now, but have you tried a blood orange? Grown since the 18th century in China and the Southern Mediterranean regions, blood oranges are now primarily grown in Italy, Texas and California.
Along with the usual citrus notes, a blood orange has an almost raspberry flavor though it is less acidic than most oranges. The anthocyanins – some of the strongest antioxidants available – give this fruit its crimson blood-colored flesh. Other than its antioxidant activity, anthocyanins have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, reduce the risk of cancer, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
On the way home from a Cyclocross race in Astoria, Oregon a few weeks ago, we stopped by a a restaurant in Seaside where Mark had Chicken Enchiladas with a Pumpkin Mole sauce that was, well, to die for. I had to recreate it!
Mole, a type of Mexican sauce, comes in a variety of flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. Modern “Americanized” moles usually have the spice from the pepper, the sweet from the fruit (blackberry, raspberry, and in our case, pumpkin) and a good hint of chocolate.
When I looked online for a healthy pumpkin mole recipe, most contained wheat bread for thickening and since I’m
currently gluten-free I kept looking. Alas, I found several recipes without gluten that I could adapt. Here’s my recipe remake which can be used as an enchilada sauce, to top baked chicken pieces, or drizzled over slices of pork tenderloin.