THE shagbark hickory, distinctive for its shedding bark, is a common tree in southeastern Pennsylvania.
SHAGBARK HICKORY SYRUP
2 pounds shagbark hickory bark
2 cups granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Scrub bark thoroughly in clean water to remove debris. Break bark into roughly 8-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet.
Toast bark until slightly brown and toasty smelling, about 25 minutes.
Place bark in a large pot and add enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes. Do not boil.
Remove bark and discard.
Add sugar to the liquid. Bring to a boil and reduce until it thickens to the consistency of warm syrup. It will take about an hour.
Cool the syrup, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three months. Makes about 2 cups of syrup.
HICKORY APPLE DRESSING
3 apples peeled, cut into chunks
1 cup champagne vinegar
1 cup sugar
¼ cup hickory syrup
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
Fresh lemon juice
Note: This recipe is a two-day process.
Muddle the apples into a pulp. Add vinegar and sugar. Strain overnight in sieve. Do not press; you only want the liquid.
The next day, put the apple liquid in a bowl. Discard solids. Whisk in the hickory syrup and hazelnut oil. Season with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Use to dress greens or vegetables. Makes 2 cups.
ROASTED OR GRILLED GARLIC SCAPES WITH SEA SALT
1 bunch garlic scapes
Olive or coconut oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and dry scapes. Break off the harder ends, as you would with asparagus, and cut the remainder into thirds. Drizzle a light amount of oil on the scapes and sprinkle with sea salt.
Roast at 400 for about 15 minutes; flip over halfway through. The scapes are scrumptious to eat when soft and golden brown.
To grill, prepare the same way with the oil and sea salt but do not cut them into thirds. Leave whole, toss on the grill and remove when soft and golden brown.
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup onion, diced
4 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups dandelion greens, chopped
4 cups spinach, chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup corn kernels
2 cups white beans, cooked
1 cup potatoes, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Saute the celery, carrot, onion, basil, oregano, cumin and garlic in the vegetable oil until tender. Add the stock, bay leaf, corn, beans and potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Stir in spinach and dandelion greens. Cook a few minutes more until greens wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6 to 8.