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On Your Mark, Get Set: Homemade Mayo With A Garlicky Twist!

2011 June 28

By Lauren Wilson

Garlic-ScapesIt’s my first summer season here in Brooklyn, being a recent Canadian transplant from Toronto.  And while it’s only just officially become summer, it’s been freaking hot here in NYC for the past few weeks.  So as far as food goes, I am already in full summer mode, which is why I loved the delicious inspiration I got from Karleen.

Karleen’s recipe for Tomato and Corn Pie with Whole Wheat Crust was bursting with wonderful summer flavors, things I normally can’t wait to start eating and eat A LOT of when they are in season: tomatoes! and corn!  But, because of my seasonal obsession with garlic scapes, her homemade mayo really spoke to me.  I have been stockpiling scape pesto in my freezer for the last couple of weeks and using it in everything from scrambled eggs to pasta salad.  I just knew I had to mix some into a bowl of homemade mayo and shmear it on something.

CLICK HERE for the full post.

After these ingredients swam around in my head for a while, they suddenly came together in a classic “DUH” moment – barbecue!  Burgers, topped with ripe, juicy, never-seen-a fridge tomatoes and homemade mayo kicked into high gear with scape pesto.  I have a great go-to recipe for burgers that I have tweaked here and there to suit my own tastes.  It incorporates grated onions, Worchestershire sauce and red wine vinegar.

These burgers need an earthy hard cheese like Gruyere to complement the savoury onion flavor of the patties.  Lucky for me, I met a wonderful Connecticut cheesemaker from Cato Corner Farm at the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket a couple of weeks ago, and they make a wonderful local spin on Gruyere, which they lovingly call “Dairyere”.  Perfect!

Dairyere-CheeseNow as for the corn, it seemed to me it was still a bit early in the season.  But I had seen some a few days earlier at my local grocery haunt (the Park Slope Food Co-Op), and I make a mean roasted corn with chili-lime butter and cotija cheese, so I decided to go over there and check it out.  Maybe the corn season is earlier here?

Turns out, no.  The corn at the co-op was local AND organic, but because it’s so early the corn was almost all white and when I cooked it up it had only a hint of the flavor I knew would be coming in a month or two.  So the corn would have to wait. But the coop still had lots of scapes, so I picked up a bunch to make another batch of pesto.  I also got some simple sesame buns for the burgers – for this flavor packed burger a simple bun is best.

The rest of my produce came from the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket, beautiful tomatoes from Kernan Farms in Cumberland County, NJ, and some Romaine lettuce from Phillips Farm in Hunterdon County, NJ.

My last stop was for meat.  I stopped in at a butcher shop I had been meaning to visit in Williamsburg, The Meat Hook, who sources all their meat from small NY state farms.  Talk about summer barbecue!  They have an amazing selection of house made sausages in varieties like red wine & rosemary or toasted fennel and garlic, plus house made chilis, barbecue sauce, and pate.

With ingredients in hand I was ready to get my grill on.  Check back on Thursday for the results of my grilling adventures and for the full recipe.

Lauren Wilson is a professional food lover.  After eating up all the good bits of Toronto, she followed a trail of crumbs to Brooklyn where she is cooking, writing, and eating happily.

  • Stephanie

    I am really looking forward to seeing your recipes! We have been getting lots of garlic scapes from our CSA. I had never had them before two weeks ago, and I am in love. I have been using them in everything! Even though I am a vegetarian, I am excited to incorporate your ingredients into a homemade veggie burger. Thursday’s recipes could be a weekend cookout idea for us! :)

    • Lauren

      Hey Stephanie!  My man is a vegetarian, and I love your idea of incorporating the grated onion etc into a homemade veggie burger.  Do you have a good recipe?  I happened to just get this in my inbox yesterday – LOTS of ingredients, and I fear it might not be textured enough/crumbly:

      • Stephanie

        Hi Lauren :) Finally getting another minute to sit down and answer your veggie burger question. I haven’t settled on any favorite recipe. I keep trying different ones. Some seem to hold up pretty well and have great flavor, others seem more like refried bean patties that squish when you take a bite. I agree that the Chow burger seems destined to crumble, and it has way more ingredients than I tend to want to worry about.

        Good timing to answer this question though, as PBS posted “PBS Celebrates July 4th” to their website today, including “Burger Alternatives”

        From that article I followed some of their suggested links. I loved these guidelines from Bay Area Bites:

        “Keep in mind that veggie burgers need to be cooked and prepared a
        little differently than meat burgers. Here are some tips and tricks to
        keep in mind:
        *Don’t over process the ingredients or else the burger will fall apart*Cook in a nonstick pan (I use my cast-iron pans)*Fry your burgers in a little bit of oil*Handle your burgers carefully as veggie burgers are more fragile than meat burgers and tend to fall apart*Chill your burgers before cooking (if time allows) as they will maintain their shape better*Start off cooking in a hot skillet and then reduce the heat*If you accidentally over process the beans, just add more dry ingredients*Taste the bean mixture before adding the egg so you can determine if you have seasoned everything to your liking”

        This page also had some great overall approaches to successful veggie burger making. It makes me feel like I have a blank canvas with some general guidelines for success, but allowing me all kinds of flavor and texture variety.

        I haven’t decided which combination of flavors and textures to use with your burger recipe yet, but my family thought your ideas sounded delicious and we plan to give it a try this holiday weekend.    

  • Marc D.

    Looking forward to this recipe!  I’ll hold onto today’s CSA garlic scapes till then!

    • Lauren

      Good plan Marc!  If you’ve not made scape pesto before you are in for a real treat :)