Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What the heck are Garlic Scapes?

I love foods with impossibly small growing seasons.  I always feel like they are challenging my creativity.  Squash blossoms, Fiddlehead ferns, Skagit Valley strawberries, and Garlic Scapes are among the cheeky foods that when I see them I have to throw all dinner plans to the wind and really step up my culinary game. 

Garlic Scapes (no idea why they are called that - I should probably look that up) are the flower stalk of garlic plant before the bulb is produced.   They are potent but mild and have a strong but pleasantly lingering taste. They add a unique and yet identifiable flavor in whatever dish you add them to.  They are great sauted either by themselves or with other vegetables.  (Duh - what is better than garlic and butter?)

My favorite thing to do is to make a version of pesto, then add it to EVERYTHING for about a week or two.  There is nothing that Garlic Scapes won't pair with - tomatoes, arugala, burrata - bing, bing dinner idea!  Scrambled eggs - yes please.  As a sandwich spread - mind-blowing.  Toss with pasta, add it as a pizza topping, try it on fish, on grilled beef, on roast chicken, or simply on a chip - this stuff is TASTY!  If I haven't convinced you yet we probably shouldn't be friends. Ce la vie.  No wait, how about that they are really pretty and when you pulse them into submission in your food processor they are the perfect green color!  PERECT!  Don't believe me?  Get ready to be amazed...

Modified from epicurious
YIELD: Serves 6 to 8 (makes 1 1/2 cups pesto)


For the pesto
  • 10 large garlic scapes
  • 1/3 cup unsalted almond
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional but delicious)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil           
Make the pesto: Puree the garlic scapes, almonds, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)



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