Garlic Scapes – Score!

This week, my schedule (or should I say my preschooler’s schedule) has finally matched our neighborhood’s farmer market’s. PreK daughter in tow, we pushed through the 95 degree heat with visions of savoring the first strawberries of the season. But just a few booths in, I was immediately sidetracked. There they were – a basket full of garlic scapes – and I thought I had missed their narrow window of availability. I promptly cleaned the vendor out.

Garlic scapes at Farmers Market

Last May, I was a scape virgin. I wondered, what the heck were these scallion looking, spiraling shoot things in my CSA half-share. After a Google search, I learned that these beauties were something to prize especially for an avid garlic lover like myself. (I’m part Italian and am convinced my kind are born with a gene that makes garlic an essential nutrient in our diets.) Garlic scapes, or garlic tops, are the shoots that grow out of the garlic bulb, which are snipped once the stalk makes a couple of loops. They are tender and milder than garlic – they work beautifully in just about any recipe calling for garlic or scallions. You can use them whole, coarsely cut or finely minced.

My no-brainer recipe is to pan fry the chopped scapes in some olive oil, throw in some halved grape tomatoes, maybe a little white wine and then simmer it all down to use as sauce for pasta.

Chopped garlic scapesGarlic scapes and tomatoesLinguine with garlic scapes, tomatoes and cheese

The next 3 recipes I vow to try before garlic scape season is over yet again:

Dorie’s Garlic Scape Pesto:

http://www.doriegreenspan.com/2009/06/i-seem-to-be-on.html

The New York Times White Bean & Garlic Scapes Dip:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/dining/183arex.html

Spinach & Green Garlic Soup from Orangette blog:

http://orangette.blogspot.com/2008/04/that-easy.html

 

Are you are garlic scape lover? Or newbie?

 

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