Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Great Scape: or, what to do with yet another weird CSA vegetable

This is a garlic scape.
It is the stem of the garlic flower. Farmers often cut it off so that the garlic bulb, the papery-covered thing we buy in little red-net packages at Trader Joe's, will grow bigger. I don't know what most farmers do with the scapes. I had never met a scape until last Wednesday.

My CSA portion included a fistful of scapes. Naturally I turned to Google, since I had no idea what to do with them, and I found "The Crisper Whisperer: 7 Things To Do with Garlic Scapes." Bookmark that link: you will need it, should you ever encounter a garlic scape.

I decided to make garlic scape pesto. I immediately encountered a problem, though: how much of each scape should I use? See that slight pale protrusion about a third of the way in, with its long tapering tip? Is that the flower? Is it the part to use? Should I use only the part that looks like a green onion? Or should I use both?

Only way to find out: eat some. OK, the long pointy ends of my scapes were not very chewable. The green tubes, were, however. And yowie! Did they ever assert themselves!

These are the ends I cut off and discarded.
So I cut off the flower ends, and then I took the long green tubes and chopped them into short pieces. I put the chopped-up scapes into my food processor along with the other ingredients the pesto recipe calls for (do check the link) and chopped everything further before adding the olive oil in a slow stream.

This is the finished garlic-scape pesto.
Cyberspace does video and audio really well, but this pesto must be tasted to be believed. One sample taste and I was a true believer. I stirred about 1/3 of the pesto into 4 ounces of cooked spaghetti and served it for dinner, along with leftover Brussels sprouts mixed with leftover marinated garbanzos (see yesterday's post) and tiny sliced bell peppers for color.

This was dinner.
If it looks good to you, I'm sorry: I have no idea where you'll find garlic scapes. But do start looking immediately. They must be harvested young, in late spring.

Oh, and one small caveat: Remember that this is garlic. If you eat it, probably everyone else in your household should too. Not that it will be hard to persuade them.

1 comment:

Janet Tkachuck said...

It sounds a lot like the way we treated our abundant supply of ramp in early spring. We've been adding ramp pesto to spaghetti in about the same proportions you recommend for the scape pesto. Same caveats apply! Penny