Watching Netflix's Chef's Table is rocking my world. I can't remember the last time I felt so inspired to cook and to really think about what I'm going to make, from the ingredients to the presentation. It's got me lying in bed dreaming up creative ways to transform or combine ingredients (although, with two hungry toddlers nipping at my heels during meal prep, anything I make ends up slopped on a dish no matter what).
Every show features a different style of cooking. The one constant, though, is the notion that a delicious meal begins with the freshest ingredients. I love that each chef personally and meticulously sources every ingredient. Suddenly, I feel less connected to the food in the grocery store and more connected to my garden and the farmer's market. I want to get to know the local cheese makers and the farmers and fishermen.
Seeing the chef's on the show brilliantly turn simple ingredients into a work of art excites me as much as when my favourite team make the play offs. Crazy, right? I want to do what they do.
After last night's episode, my husband, Jason, and I brainstormed new ways to use local and seasonal foods. Living in the Maritimes, we were kind of stuck on seafood and fiddleheads, so when Jason accidentally snapped off a garlic scape while gardening tonight, I was struck by the realization that our concept of local was pretty limited.
Garlic scapes are the long stems that grow out of the garlic bulb. I've been patiently waiting for the bulbs to grow and forgot all about the amazingly fresh-tasting and versatile garlic scape. It's even tastier than garlic and doesn't leave you with stinky breath!
The second I saw the bud in Jason's hand (and then moving towards his mouth for a bite) dozens of ideas flooded my brain - from adding it to burgers or risotto, mixing it into potato salad, and making pesto out of it. It was already dinnertime, so I had to think fast and decided to keep it simple with a salad.
2 garlic scapes, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
pinch sea salt
Mix ingredients together. Allow the dressing to sit for about 20 minutes for the flavours to marinate.
4 cups baby arugula
1 garlic scape, finely chopped
4 chive flowers (optional)
handful pine nuts (optional)
Toss a chopped garlic scape with the arugula. Drizzle dressing over the salad. Mix well to ensure all the leaves are coated. Add parmesan shavings (I used a vegetable peeler). Snip the chive flowers and sprinkle over top. Toss in pine nuts.