Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Great Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes are pretty and unique.

One of my favorite things to grow is garlic. You plant the cloves in the fall and then there they are in the spring. Green leaves poking through the soil. Doesn't get much easier than that. After the leaves grow big and tall, a stalk emerges from the center of the leaves. This is the garlic scape. It curls around in a loop. If you leave it alone, it will eventually straighten out and a flower will open atop the stalk.

Garlic Scape Harvest. This is half of my garlic scapes.

Since I grow garlic for the bulb that grows beneath the soil, not the flowers, I cut the scape off. Conventional wisdom says the plant will direct it's energy to increasing the bulb size if you cut the scape off. And guess what? They're edible! Yup, and they taste like garlic. So what does one do with garlic scapes? Some people make pesto, some make soup, and some like to stir fry them with other veggies.

Freshly pureed Garlic Scape Pesto. What can we do with this?

I made a garlic scape pesto. Extremely easy to do. Versatile too. Here's the recipe:

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 lb. garlic scapes
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Cut the garlic scapes into 2-3 inch pieces. Puree in the food processor. Add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest and pulse a few times. Add the olive oil while the food processor runs and continue to let it run until the oil is thoroughly combined. Add salt to taste.

This can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

It's very garlicy, as in raw garlic, and very green. You can use it as is tossed with pasta. The raw pesto tastes a little bit too raw for me, so I experimented with a few uses I could think of for the pesto. First night was on spaghetti in the raw state.

After the spaghetti, Hubby went away for a few days on a business trip, so I only had myself to experiment on. I made garlic scape pesto grilled chicken. I slathered the chicken breast heavily with the pesto, then cooked it on the grill. With that, I made garlic scape pesto twice baked potatoes. Bake a potato, slice in half, scoop out the insides, mix with sour cream, garlic scape pesto, and stuff it back in the potato skin. Top with parmesan cheese and heat on the grill till it looks toasty.

Garlic Scape Pesto Grilled Chicken & Twice Baked Potato

Still had a lot of garlic scapes left. Next I made garlic scape soup. Here's the recipe:

Garlic Scape Soup

3 Cups Garlic Scapes cut into 2-3 inch pieces
1 medium onion chopped
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. dried ground thyme
3 Cups chicken broth (vegetable stock can be substituted)
1 Cup Light Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute the garlic scapes and onion in olive oil over medium heat until vegetables are soft. This takes a while and your onion will get nicely caramelized. Add thyme and cook one minute more, stirring to coat all the vegetables. Let cool. Puree vegetables in food processor, with about a cup of the chicken stock, until smooth. Put it back in the soup pot, add the remaining chicken broth and heat up. Warm up the cream and stir in to the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic Scape Soup.


Marcia said...

It all looks delicious! I'm sure I'd be able to enjoy the aroma if I was just across the street. From here, I'll just have to use my imagination!

Jen said...

Thanks! It was tasty indeed. By the time you get back, there will be many other things being harvested over here.