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Going Local – Boston Lettuce Salad with Chicken and Roasted Garlic Scapes

August 5, 2009

The idea of buying local ingredients at farmers markets and local stands is something that generally suffers because of our fast-paced life, but every once in a while we get the opportunity to do so. Last week, I managed to go to the Kendall Square Farmer’s Market by my office and found some ingredients that are a bit different than our usual selections: beets (with greens), Boston lettuce (one of Elysabeth’s favorites), and garlic scapes. I will spare the details of the beet experience, though I’m glad for the experience I had roasting them, even if I ate the bulk of them alone. 🙂

I asked the grower how he would recommend I cook them.  I would recommend that anyone should do this at a market since it shows the grower that you are both interested in food and that you respect their knowledge of the ingredient. He suggested I roast the scapes for 10 minutes until just soft, then drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle a few pinches of salt and pepper on top to enjoy. Elysabeth and I both decided we would have rather cook them a bit longer so that they browned up significantly. The end result was put into a very simple salad with the fresh Boston lettuce and some chicken breast that was seared on a hot pan.

The garlic scapes when roasted take on a very sweet quality inside, with a slightly chewy exterior. The sweet flavor is reminiscent of a roasted head of garlic, which works well with the salt on the roasting pan, the chicken, and the salad dressing.

Boston Lettuce Salad with Chicken and Roasted Garlic Scapes (Serves 2)

  • 1 head boston lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes, yellow buds trimmed off
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place garlic scapes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and add a few healthy pinches of the salt and pepper. If scapes don’t fit on pan without curling up, cut them in half so that they fit and make contact with pan as much as possible.
  3. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway, until scapes are softened and slightly smaller.
  4. While scapes are roasting, heat large pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken and place in pan, stirring occasionally until chicken is fully cooked through.
  6. Combine lettuce, chicken, and scapes in a bowl and add your favorite vinaigrette. Enjoy!
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