Have you ever heard of garlic scapes? They are one of those things that I only discovered once I started checking out the farmer’s market in Union Square when I moved to New York. They are the stems and unopened flowers of the hard-neck variety of garlic bulbs, like the fancy kind you see tied into bunches at the market. They are pungent in the best way possible, and make a great replacement for other tasty summery, garlicky greens, like chives, scallions, ramps or spring garlic. This time around, I decided to use them as I might use a green bean. I roasted them simple with pretty French breakfast radishes, tossed them in some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and 30 minutes later, I had a beautiful side dish for my roasted chicken. Kramer and I ate the leftovers the next day on a salad with some of that same chicken, and I enjoyed these veggies just as much cold as I did warm. The addition of lemon zest and a sprinkle of sea salt at the end adds a punch of bright flavor and is just the kind of vegetable side you want to have on a sunny day. May I also suggest serving these alongside a dollop or two of good ricotta? Just sayin’.
Hanging out on Governors Island.
I still haven’t gotten around to going through my photos from our Montreal trip, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more photos to share. Kramer, my friend Jessie and I went to Governors Island a few weekends ago, and it was an excellent little day trip. You just have to hop on the East River ferry, enjoy the view as you travel along the water, then bam! You’re on a giant park of an island before you know it. A lot of the island was either damaged during Sandy or was in general disrepair over the past few years, but after the hurricane, the city has done an awesome job of making Governors Island a lovely place to visit. This year, they’ve nearly doubled the area available for picnics and playgrounds, not to mention the plentiful food and drink options. There are even food trucks!
We, of course, brought our own little charcuterie platter: salami, mortadella, cheese, roasted tomatoes and olives. Kramer did a great job picking it all out. We watched a bit of the soccer game that was on that day, then laid out on our picnic blanket, listened to music, read our books, and stuffed ourselves with meats and cheeses. After a while, we packed up and wandered around the island a bit. Jessie and Kramer were very excited to play on the oversized playground equipment (as were a few other adults, who all pounced as soon as all of the children had vacated the premises), and after tuckering themselves out, we grabbed a fresh coconut to sip on while we headed back to the boat. We ended up at The Woods to watch another soccer game, eat more (maple bacon on a stick, anyone?) and then Kramer and Jessie headed out to see Clap Your Hands Say Yeah while my friend Danny and I grabbed a drink a Spuyten Duyvil. I’ve got a pretty low key weekend coming up, but plans always change. I hope we get to spend more time outside, as the weather is supposed to be perfect.
Our spread from the Bedford Cheese Shop.
Kramer looking handsome.
Jessie and me.
Kramer and Jessie climbing the thing.
Taking the boat back.
I love garlic scapes – they look like snakes!
Pretty breakfast radishes.
Mix it all together and roast!
Sprinkle with a little extra sea salt before serving, for crunch, if you like.
- 2 small bunches garlic scapes, cleaned and trimmed
- 2 small bunches French breakfast radishes, cleaned, trimmed and halved (or quartered, depending on their size)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- zest of ½ a lemon
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and trim your garlic scapes, then cut them into halves or thirds, depending on their length. Wash and trim your radishes (you can leave a bit of green on top, if you like, for color) and halve or quarter them, depending on their size.
- Place your vegetables on a baking sheet, toss with the olive oil, salt, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, black pepper and fresh thyme sprigs. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the radishes are tender. Sprinkle with your lemon zest and a little extra sea salt before serving, if you like. This makes a great side dish or is wonderful tossed with pasta or over mixed greens.