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"Market Chronicles" beats superstar cookbooks

marketchronicles.JPGThe votes are in for Quebec in the Cross Country Cookbook Shelf challenge. Food writer Susan Semenak's Market Chronicles: Stories and recipes from Montreal's Marché Jean-Talon won by a landslide!  With 58% of the online votes, Semenak's recipes and stories from the market beat out books by superstar chefs like Martin Picard and Ricardo Larivée.

Susan spoke with Sonali Karnick about winning the title and she also shared a recipe.
It's the season for "garlic scapes" at farmer's markets in Quebec so Susan shared her recipe for pesto using this tasty green.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Makes about 2 cups (500 ml)


The long, elegant stems that grace hardneck garlic plants in spring are a treasure to cooks.

Their chlorophyll-green hue, corkscrew loops and subtle garlic flavour are fleeting pleasures. Soon the long, tender scapes will straighten out and harden up. But before then, garlic growers snip them off to redirect the plant's energy to the bulb.

Luckily, they don't go to waste. The curly scapes that appear at the market in spring are delicious chopped into omelettes, risottos or stir-fries. They are especially sublime as a vivid-green pesto brightened with lime juice - organic farmer Mylène Dupont's recipe for holding on to spring.

2 cups (500 ml) chopped garlic scapes, top flowery parts removed

½ tsp salt

juice of 1 large lime (about 3 tbsp)

1 cup (250 ml) sunflower oil, or more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, pulse garlic scapes, salt and lime juice until smooth but still a little chunky. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add the oil and mix just until combined.  

With a rubber spatula, transfer mixture to clean jars, leaving a ½-inch (1 cm) space at the top. Add extra oil if necessary to completely cover the pesto. Cover jars tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.

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