Triumph! This peekaboo surprise greeted me in the garden as I was harvesting garlic scapes at dawn this morning. Why so giddy? Cauliflower is not always the easiest cool-season crop to grow. Well, at least in our Alabama garden. Add in our quick-rising mercury and sprint to summer heat and one may resign to attempting only in the Fall season. The cool nights and constant Spring rains have been unpredictable and unkind for getting our summer favorites of tomatoes, basil, and peppers planted comfortably, but are a lucky boon for extra deliveries of cauliflower and broccoli. I’m delighted to bring today’s harvest to the Cooking Light photo studio, in all it’s knobby-headed glory. After these get sliced and shot in the studio, our test kitchen magicians will put their heads together for fresh recipes featured in an issue later this year. Have a taste for cauliflower now? Try this Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan.
Another wonder from this morning’s pick: garlic scapes. Elephant garlic, to be precise. This is more leek-like in size and stature than its garlic cousins, but produces curling Spring scapes as hardneck garlics do. These are a rare treat for sauteéing or making scape pesto for the few fleeting weeks they’re found in fresh markets. Seek them out at farmer’s markets or grow your own garlic to hoard the harvest. This is one of the very best moments in the benefits of gardening, as you eat the garlic plant from root to tip, or rather, bloom to bulb.
Joining the photo fun this morning is another pungent edible bloomer, onion chives. We have a border of these lining the herb beds and they are all abloom with lavender orbs in May. Split apart the purple blossoms to sprinkle over a salad, or chop the hollow stems for garnish.
What’s coming up in your garden?