I had a wonderful girls night with my amazing friends Meghan and Nacie. As I’ve mentioned before, I am very lucky to have some really wonderful and impressive friends. The three of us got together to network and brainstorm our entrepreneurial ideas, and discuss maintaining work life balance while pursuing multiple things at once. Nacie just published her book, The Finch Effect: Five Strategies to Adapt and Thrive in Your Working Life and Meghan just left her 9-5 to pursue her own consulting business. Needless to say, we had an amazing time eating, drinking and chatting.
I wanted to make something special to nibble on and I was inspired to create something healthy and delicious using some amazing things I picked up from the farmer’s market. I got some beautiful garlic scapes, french breakfast radishes and baby carrots. Craig and I are obsessed with the baby carrots from Parker Farm in Lunenberg, MA. They have super thin skin, so you don’t have to peel them, just scrub and eat. They are so sweet and crunchy, we bought two pounds on Saturday and have already finished them.
So I decided to use the garlic scapes to make a tangy hummus dip for the veggies. Garlic scapes are the “stalks” of the garlic plant, which must be removed early in the growing season for a full bulb of garlic to grow. They are only available for a few weeks in May and June so grab some if you see them at a local market. They have a tender and mild flavor with a bit of garlicky bite. Hummus is a simple way to enjoy scapes and highlight their unique and tasty flavor. This hummus is incredibly simple, just a can of chickpeas, some scapes, lemon juice and olive oil.
Next I tried to figure out what else would compliment this tasty hummus. Crackers seemed so boring, so I decided to branch out a bit. The lovely and talented Katherine Martinelli guest posted at Baker Steet last week in a series of posts called Bread 101. This is right up my alley because I need to enroll in Bread Kindergarten. I literally have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to anything involving yeast. So. I saw this amazing post about homemade pitas and thought it might be doable. Both Katherine and Anuradha make bread making look so delicious and simple. Since they are both far better at this than I am, I figured if I followed the instructions I wouldn’t mess up too badly.
Turns out homemade pitas are SO SIMPLE to make and so tasty. Fresh from the oven they were absolutely heavenly. Craig and I ate so many I was afraid I wouldn’t have any left for my guests later. The warm, slightly fluffy pitas made a wonderful compliment to the garlic scape hummus. My only regret is that I didn’t make larger batches to have some snacks for work.
4-5 garlic scapes, washed
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
Directions: In a food processor, combine all ingredients and puree to desired smoothness.
NOTE: I deviated slightly from the original version. I had a lot of extra dough, so this recipe yielded 16 pitas for me.
3.5 cups bread flour
1 packet (2 1/2 tsp) dry yeast
1.5 cups warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine the bread flour and yeast. Add the water, sugar and salt.
2. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes, until the dough is slightly sticky and smooth
3. Roll the dough into a ball and drizzle the outside with olive oil. Cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for at least a half hour, or until it has doubled.
4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
5. Transfer dough to a floured surface and punch gently
6. Separate dough into 16 equal sized parts and roll into balls. I just split each chunk of dough into two sections and kept splitting until I had 16.
7. Cover dough balls with a kitchen towel and allow to rise another 10 minutes
8. Roll each ball into a disk about 1/4″ thick
9. Bake disks on a greased cookie sheet or baking tray for 5 minutes. They will swell up and then begin to fall a bit. There should be some golden spots.
10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cover with a dish town for a few minutes to keep them soft.