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August 2018
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Garlic Scape

This last weekend I made a new discovery at the Kingsfield Farmers Market that I am quite excited about and I almost walked away from it. It is a gem of the early summer called Garlic Scape, not the most attractive name but sure an interesting and fun edible! It is only available for a short 3 weeks or so.

So what is it and how does one use it? Good questions, first off it is a green and twisty stalk that is about the width of a pencil or a little thinker and has a mild garlic aroma about it. This makes sense since it is a stalk from a garlic clove. What farmers do when the garlic plant sprouts is to cut off the scape so the bulb can continue to grow, without doing this, the bulb would not grow any more. In essence, this gives the farmer a two for the price of one on their crop. Scape when raw has a mild garlic flavor, but when cooked that garlic flavor mellows even more and its flavor flowers into something not unlike asparagus. Its texture is a little firmer than asparagus, so it can take a bit more abuse.

The simple and pure way to prepare it is to cut them to manageable size, toss them in some olive oil, add salt and pepper, place on a hot grill (or frying pan) flip after 3 or so minutes, cook until tender, serve and enjoy. If I was cooking it on the stove top, I would throw a pat or two of butter in at the last minute or so, but I think butter makes everything better. I made mine on the grill and it was fantastic, next time I will leave it on a wee bit longer to increase the tenderness.

When I cook it on the stove top, I will probably start up with some shallots, and garlic (clove), add the garlic scape and half way through the cooking process add some crushed tomatoes and some fresh thyme at the very end. I do something similar with green beans.
The farmer gave some other recipes to think about including a hummus, and a pesto. From what research I have done suggests when making pesto to use a harder nut such as walnuts instead of pine nuts and use less cheese then your typical pesto. Add 2 Tbs of pesto to penne, bowties or spirals, add some cherry tomatoes or sundried tomatoes for color acid and some sweetness. Will come up with a more concrete recipe after experimenting with it tonight!

Other ideas is bacon wrapped, frying the bacon until crispy then roasting till done, serve with a cucumber yogurt sauce other veggie puree of some sort.
I think experimenting with this would be great but they are only around till the end of June so be quick and have fun. I am going to!

More information about Kingsfield Farmsers Market
More info about Swede Lake Farms

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