Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mind The Scape!

Yummy things to do with garlic while you're waiting for the harvest!

THING ONE: The Scape
(That's a fancy botanical word for a flowering stem, usually leafless, rising from the crown or roots of a plant. Scapes can have a single flower or many flowers, depending on the species.)
Anyway, for our purposes (to EAT and COOK), I just found out that the garlic scape is one delectable thing! If you're growing garlic and a scape comes up, by all means cut the bugger off and eat it! If left, the scape hardens and curtails further growth of the bulb (that's the garlic part you'll be wanting in the fall). Kim O'Donnel, the author of the recipe below, claims that the scape's a garlic lover's nirvana. She also suggests: dicing it into scrambled eggs, adding to a veggie sauté or using as garnish for rice. We only have one small scape today, so it's going into a stir fry tonight, but I plan to make this pesto asap!

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.

THING TWO: Green Garlic Leaves!
Now, the point is not to denude the entire plant, which, once you taste it you may end up doing out of sheer exuberance. If you carefully cut off some of the long, green leaves of the garlic plant, and chop them up and eat them, you'll be really happy you did, and your plant won't feel the least bit stressed out. Last night I took some tomatoes, tossed them in olive oil, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and about 1/4 cup of roughly chopped green garlic leaves, and roasted them in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30- 40 minutes. The garlic melts and it's just incredible.

(a special thank you chef guru Celeste, who sat in the garden with me and showed me the green garlic leaf light...)


1 comment:

angie said...

I love these recipes- so fresh and simple. I'm going to see if there are some garlic scapes at the farmers market this weekend! Thank you for sharing!