Recently, Nimbus Publishing, an Atlantic Canadian publishing house, contacted me about reviewing some local cookbooks. Yes, I know. Lucky as all hell. Included was Maritime Fresh, a cookbook featuring local produce with recipes by Elisabeth Bailey and photography by Halifax Food Blogger's very own Kelly Neil. In addition to the gorgeous photos, there's well over 120 recipes full of local goodness and loads of resources to help navigate the local bounty.
More of a resource cookbook, with recipes grouped according to ingredient, it's the perfect book for beginner cooks as well as those looking for inspiration from their market or CSA finds. Though most recipes are basic and easy to execute, the variety of recipes is huge, everything from preserves to soups to desserts and everything in between.
When I first flipped through the book looking for that one recipe to try, I landed at walnut scape pesto. Lately it seemed like everyone was in love with garlic scapes, the shoots from a garlic bulb described as part garlic part green bean. Yet here I was wondering what all the fuss was about. I'd just have to remedy that. So what do you do when you're looking to acquire some local goodies? Announce it on twitter. Naturally. My local market clerk extraordinaire Brianna, who also happens to be a fellow Halifax Food Blogger, just so happened to respond. Oh, you want to GIVE me scapes grown in your garden? You're starting to get a little annoyed with that horse shoe I may or may not have stored in a place that shall not be named aren't you?
A five minute walk later and viola. I mean how COOL are these scapes?! With the rest of the ingredients already in the kitchen, it was pesto time. Honestly, this recipe couldn't be easier. Chop, grate, puree, period. One taste of this pesto and I was wondering what the hell I'd been doing living so long without scapes in my life. Super fresh with that great garlic bite, I could probably eat this with a spoon. Instead it's bound for some grilled stuffed portobellos along with panko, goat cheese and most likely bacon. Sounds amazing amiright?
For more info on Maritime Fresh or details on how you can pick up your own copy, check with Nimbus. And if you too have been living without these bad boys, hit up a farmer's market in your area and get some before they're gone for the season. All that fuss? It's legit.