It's not a walk of shame, it's a victory lap: Yesterday's Pesto Edition

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I've never understood the term "the walk of shame."  I mean, what exactly are you ashamed of?  Having had a fantastic night?  You went out, it went well, you stayed out longer than the night did.  Wonderful.  I see no shame in that.  If anything, you should be proud.  You partied better than all those people who are driving to work and judging you (albeit, wrinkle free).  The way I see it, next time you wake up in last night's clothes and have to stagger back home, disheveled, a bit hungover, squinting in the too bright light of dawn, consider that your victory lap.  Well done.  

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If you made last week's indulgent Four Hour Burger, then there's a good chance you're gonna wake up to yesterday's pesto hanging around in your fridge.  That's a good thing.  Yesterday's food on today's plate saves you a ton of time because you already did the bulk of the work.  It's like how restaurants work.  All the ingredients and sauces are prepped before hand so that when you order, they simply have to assemble and serve, else it'd take an hour or longer and you'd get all grumpy about it on Yelp.  No one wants that.  You should really be treating your leftovers less like annoying hangers-on from meals past, and more like prepped ingredients ready to go into new dishes.  You were a badass yesterday.  Embrace that.

 Take a victory lap and make a quick pesto spaghetti with garlic scapes.  

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These are garlic scapes.  They're from, you guessed it, the garlic plant.  More specifically, they grow out the top of the plant in the late spring and if left to mature could be planted to grow new garlic.  But that maturing diverts energy away from their parent bulb down underneath the ground, and so instead garlic scapes are removed and, because they're delicious, eaten.  Like a blend between garlic (shocking) and asparagus, they work great anywhere those two would.  Puree them into soup.  Grill them and serve with a poached egg and hollandaise.  Add them to a stir fry.  

Or, like I do here, put them in pasta with some leftover pesto.  

It's easy to do.  Cut the scapes up into inch and a half long pieces and drop them in a pot of salted boiling water for about a minute or two.  Pull them out (saving the hot cooking water) and plop them in a bowl of ice water to both stop them from cooking and keep their color bright green (which is pretty, and, well, you deserve it).   

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Bring the blanching water back to a boil and use it to cook some spaghetti.  When the pasta is about three minutes from being finished heat a saute pan over medium heat, add some canola oil when it's hot, and then fry a pinch of dried chili flakes for about fifteen seconds.  Add the garlic scapes, saute for a minute, and then add the just cooked spaghetti, about a quarter cup of the cooking water, and a heaping spoonful of pesto.  Toss and stir that for a minute until the pasta is evenly coated with the pesto, adding water if you need to so it doesn't dry out.  Then take it off the heat, top with some grated lemon zest and hard Italian cheese, a generous drizzle of a good extra virgin olive oil, and maybe a bit of fresh cracked black pepper. 

That's it.  As much as it's in my nature to drag these things out and make them complicated, this dish just doesn't allow it.  It tastes delicious and takes almost no time to prepare.  So I'll shut up.  You go eat.

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Readers made this!  Check that out here.  

 Did you cook something with yesterday's pesto?  Take a photo and send it to me at brett@fourchordkitchen.com and I'll post it on the site.