Friday, October 8, 2010


My friend Hesper is working on a farm this summer and sells their produce at farmer's markets in Chicago. She gave me a bunch of garlic scapes which were leftover after one of the markets. Garlic scapes are not something I would think to buy at a farmer's market since I wouldn't really know what to do with them. Since they fell into my lap I got really excited about getting to know them. I wish I had taken a picture of them before I cut them up. They are the stalks that grow out of garlic bulbs, and they look kind of like curly scallions. They taste like scallions, too, but with a mild garlic flavor. They sweeten up a bit like onions do when they're cooked. They'd be perfect for someone who likes the flavor of garlic but doesn't like it to overpower a dish. They're probaby best prepared similarly to scallions: lightly pan-fried in stirfries or scrambles.

I found a recipe on the VeganYumYum blog, which is one of my favorites as of late, for a garlic scape pesto. Also, the Iphone has a VeganYumYum app, so I can look at her recipes WHEREVER AND WHENEVER I WANT TO! That's what I do instead of playing games or checking facebook when I'm on the train. Anyway, back to the pesto. I probably didn't have a full 1/2 lb of scapes, so my pesto wasn't very green, but it was still delicious. I didn't have pine nuts (I'm not the biggest fan), so I used walnuts. This recipe serves two.

Garlic Scape Pesto

1/2 lb Fresh Garlic Scapes
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Large Pinch Salt
Black Pepper
1/3 Cup Pine Nuts (or other nut)
2 Tbs Oil
Lemon Juice, to taste

Chop the scapes into 1 inch long pieces. Add 2 tbs oil to a heated pan and add the scapes. Add salt, pepper, and pine nuts and saute for a few minutes over medium high heat until the scapes begin to soften and the nuts turn golden brown. Add immediately to the work bowl of a food processor and add remaining oil. Blend well until a smooth paste forms. Taste and add more salt or some lemon juice to brighten. This will coat 1/2 lb. of pasta.

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