That’s one heck of a title. Thank goodness I don’t work for the Toronto Sun, because then I’d have been forced to choose a quick, aggressive title like, “Dip Gyp!” even though it would have had nothing to do with the content of this post. I almost want to change the story to make the short title work. Maybe that’s what the Sun does with page 1 too.
Anyway, this week we were entertaining relatives from Northern Ireland, and I was looking forward to it because entertaining means having a new audience to experiment on… I mean…cook for. I didn’t want to scare these folks with my uncommon cooking ingredients though, because it was their first time having crossed the Atlantic. I wanted to do what I could to give a good impression of Our True North Strong and Free.
At our first dinner I served asparagus as a surefire veggie crowd pleaser, but I was surprised to find out that they had never tried it, so I knew early on to exercise restraint with my cooking — asking them to taste camel or ostrich might have been a bit of a stretch, although they soon proved to be very good sports about baseball, water skiing, raccoon dodging, and other Canadian adventures. Also, just as an aside, until this trip apparently our 19-year-old cousin Andrew had believed that chipmunks were as large as cats and dogs because he had been misled by Alvin and the gang (you’re welcome, Andrew, for not posting this to Facebook. U.O.Me).
Obviously they had a thing or two to learn about Canada, and so because I wanted small chipmunks to be the biggest travel disappointment they would experience, I prepared something only slightly dangerous this week – garlic greens.
Now garlic greens still qualify as a dangerous, uncommon food as far as I’m concerned because when you see them sticking up from the white garlic bulb you’re used to, usually only at a farmer’s market, looking like this…
…I think that most people still think to themselves, “whoa, is that how they really grow?” It is. If you lop them off even earlier in the season than when I got mine, they look kind of curly and they’re called “scapes.” Mine might be scapes too (the “literature” was slightly confusing on the definition) but no matter what, they’re all edible, although the woody, tough parts have to be manhandled in a creative way to be used deliciously. I’d be willing to bet a Chipmunks Christmas album though, that young scapes or the tender parts of my green garlic tops could be used in any recipe in place of scallions. And that’s exactly what I did as I imagined this recipe:
Easy Peasy Lemon Cream Cheesy Garlic Greens Spread
Use a fork to mix the following:
- 250g light cream cheese, softened slightly in the microwave
- 2Tbsp lemon juice
- 5Tbsp tender garlic greens, chopped (use any that are difficult to cut in a different recipe)
- 3Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 2Tbsp mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
Very nice! The guests all enjoyed the spread over crackers, and when I brought it out again the following day the flavours had developed even more beautifully. The greens tasted quite a bit like scallions although they’re definitely garlicky and slightly chewier. The spread is not quite risqué enough for me on crackers alone, but it would have been ideal topped with smoked salmon.
Rating: 2 Yums. The spread would be a great base for an adventurous cracker top, and I would use garlic greens as a different take on green onions or chives any time.
PS The first time I posted this the title was spelled, “…cream cheasy…” What kind of remedial school should I attend now that I’ve forgotten how to spell “cheese?” Maybe an internship at the Toronto Sun really is in order.