Garlic Scapes

>> Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ahhh, garlic scapes. This ingredient is one of the main reasons I love coming to the Green City Market; they have such a delight assortment of vegetables, fruits, and cheeses that I have never seen or heard of before. Naturally when my eyes set on what appeared to be a very large scallion, I had to inquire, what is that thing? A sign and a polite - it's a garlic scape - from the farmer led me to the obvious conclusion, oh, a garlic scape.

I often feel pressure at the farmers market to buy things, especially when I show a hint of interest. Not because the farmers themselves are pressuring me, but because I feel like I should be trying new foods all the time. That morning was no different. After noticing the "scapes" for weeks I decided to bite the bullet and buy them. Despite my purchase I still didn't have any clue how to use them or what they were...

After a brief bit of research (and help from my friend Megan) I found that the garlic scapes are actually the green things that grow out of the bulb of garlic. They are often cut so that the growth can focus on the bulb below. The green stalks eventually produce a flower and is why garlic is known as the "stinking rose."

Ok so now we know what the scapes are - still what do we do with them? Luckily Megan sent me this Serious Eats recipe for garlic scapes pesto which is copied verbatim below:

4 to 5 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
Large handful basil leaves
1/4 cup almonds, toasted in a dry skillet until slightly browned
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound linguine or other pasta

1. Combine the garlic scapes, basil, and half the oil in a small food processor or blender. Process or blend until the leaves and scapes are finely chopped, then add the nuts and remaining oil. Process or blend until nicely pureed.
2. Remove to a bowl and stir in the cheese. If necessary, add more olive oil to create a loose paste. Season with more salt if needed.
3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salty water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and toss with the pesto. If necessary, add some of the pasta water to create a creamy texture. Serve with more grated Parmesan cheese.

It's not a far cry from this pesto recipe involving walnuts. It was so creamy, and the garlic is much milder than regular cloves. Whenever I see garlic stalks I will definitely make the the purchase again! 


ACP June 30, 2010 at 11:25 AM  


Renee Barone July 1, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

Aria it really, really was! The garlic is so mild its kind of amazing. I made a pesto steak with it. OMG.


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