Monday, July 30, 2007
Seen garlic scapes in the farmers' market lately? I always buy them in the fleeting window in which they are available because they are so pretty and so seldom around.
Garlic scapes are the seed head and stalk that emerge from garlic plants in the early stage of growth (typically June). Left to grow, the seed head eventually develops into the hard white bulb we know as a head of garlic. Raw garlic scapes have a garlic-y but not overpowering flavor, much more subtle than the bulb we are more accustomed to eating.
Usually, I use garlic scapes as a garnish, and haven’t tried cooking with them until recently when I stumbled upon a recipe for garlic scape pesto. I made a cold pasta salad with farfalle and garlic scape pesto garnished with pine nuts and halved cherry tomatoes for color. I’m sure this dish would be as good served hot.
Garlic Scape Pesto (adapted from The Washington Post)
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup pine nuts
¾ cup olive oil
½ - ¾ cup grated parmigiano (more to taste)
½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
black pepper to taste
Place scapes and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto.
Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator (or freeze in ice cube trays and store in the freezer in a Ziploc bag).