|Garlic Scape Pesto|
Garlic scapes... which are also known as garlic tops, garlic shoots, green garlic, spring baby garlic, garlic spears, early garlic greens, or garlic “flowers” ...are the curly tipped, extremely tasty green shoots that grow from “heads” of hardneck (or topset) garlic. These are usually discarded before harvesting. What a shame that is!!!!!!!!!!
In the next week or so depending on where you live, you may be as lucky as I was to find garlic scapes at your farmers market. They're a real treat and taste like a crispy green bean with a mild garlic flavor. They can be used in any dish where you usually use garlic but want a brighter, more complex garlic flavor with less bite than you would get from standard garlic cloves.
Garlic scapes work well in soups, salads, stews, salsas, dips, guacamole, omelettes, frittatas, souffles, marinades, pesto, salad dressings, and stir-fry. They can also be pickled and added to homemade flavored vinegars.
They have a definite garlic flavor, but instead of the harsh, almost acidic aftertaste of the bulb when raw, you get a sweeter, greener flavor. They’re picked every June for two reasons. They are tasty for one thing and removing them drives more energy into the bulb for a better garlic harvest later in the season. They have a mellower garlic flavor than the bulb itself, with a nice little spicy bite without garlic breathe!
One thing I love to make with garlic scapes is pesto. If your scapes are a little larger then will be a little tougher so you may have to parboil them before making them into pesto. Add to your favourite pasta, spread on crostini or serve with your favourite barbecued meats.
In the next few days I will be preparing several dishes with scapes...I received a double dose at the farmers market. Be on the lookout for vicychoisse and a chickpea spread.
**Garlic Scape Pesto**
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz 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.
For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.
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