I've been experimenting around a lot this year with reducing or eliminating "stable" carbs like grains from my daily diet to make meals that come 95% (oils, salt and condiments are the imports) from our garden. Right now, carrots are one of the main "carb crops" I've been building meals around, since they are abundant and self sow around our garden. Some version of this recipe has been on the table 3 or 4 times a week.
I usually add a variety of additional vegetables to compliment the dish. Today that included a handful of peas, some pattypan squash and some purslane, an excellent summer vegetable found wild in most gardens.
Garlic Bulbils are a secret farm luxury, a mild and sweet garlic flavoring available right now to those who grow garlic. Many people miss out by removing the garlic scapes to increase productivity, but research on the topic has been inconclusive. Recent studies from Washinton State and the University of Maine have found modest reductions (a maximum of 5%) when grown in good garden soils (in poor soils WSU found a maximum 30% reduction in productivity with certain varieties) while older studies have found no impact on garlic productivity. But none of these studies account for the increased productivity of garlic plantings in the home garden when considering the additional yield of fresh bulbils and scapes, which together are much larger than 5-30% (Often as high as 40-50% in our garden) of bulb size, indicating an increased theoretical yield to be had from leaving scapes.
So we harvest scapes as needed in the kitchen and keep some scapes around long enough to enjoy the beautiful form they add to the garden and the gourmet vegetable that flowers on top. At the end of the season, unused bulbils flavor soups and stocks.
Ingredients (per person)
5 medium carrots, washed and cut into "french fry" slices
1 head of garlic bulbils.
1 cup fresh broccoli.
1 cup additional in-season vegetables, including summer squash, peas, radishes, sorrel, "rat tails," marshmallow leaves, purslane, etc.
1 T Shoyu or (less if Tamari is used)
1 t maple syrup
1 t sesame oil
Add oil to pan along with fresh, sightly crushed garlic bulbils. Fry over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until carrots and broccoli take on a bright, beautiful color and the aroma fills the kitchen (about 1 minute.) Poor directly onto plate and eat up!