23 June 2008

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto
Heads of garlic are an essential part of any kitchen, but did you know that there’s much more to garlic than its cloves?

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.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

27 comments:

  1. OH YEAH...I'm gonna enjoy your garlic scape "escape"! The Vichycoisse sounds wonderful.

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  2. Can't say That I have ever seen garlic scapes before, but will surely be on the lookout for them.

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  3. You rock! This may be the most informative, functional post I'll read this month. Why? Because I've been on a garlic binge of mass proportion, yet knew nothing of garlic scape. Guess where I'm going Wednesday at 7 AM? I'll give you a hint - it starts with farmers' and ends with market.... lol. Thank you for this!

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  4. I love pesto! Yours looks terribly tempting and particularly delicious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. Now I been looking for these garlic scapes for two years. One day they show up for me! The pesto looks and sounds lovely.

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  6. Looking and sounding goooood!

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  7. This sounds really great, I have never seen garlic scapes before, but will definitely be looking out for them from now on!

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  8. That pesto looks well lovely Val! I will look out for these!

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  9. I've only recently been learning about scapes. Not sure that I've seen them before. But you continue to be an inspiration in thinking outside of the "pesto box".

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  10. clever girl! Scrape pesto, now why didn't I think of that.

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  11. I am so jealous! I have seen these little beauties all over the blogosphere. I wish our farmers market carried these when they were in season! Your pesto looks so yummy!

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  12. Nice Val! I have some scapes I'll be using this week too. Garlic is my best friend ;)

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  13. Cool! I was never sure what to do with scapes. This sounds delicious.

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  14. What a fantastic use of what's normally tossed!

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  15. I forgot to ask about scapes last week at our market. I really want to try them and your pesto sounds like a great way to do so.

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  16. I've never trued scapes before, but it sounds worth trying. This pesto looks great

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  17. I get green garlic in the early spring, which is the whole garlic pulled, young, before it splits into cloves (looks like a green onion). I've never seen scapes, but I keep hearing about them.
    Interesting texture (like a green bean, you said)? When I planted garlic I don't remember anything that curly...
    Next year, when I have my garden back.....
    I want them.... I can't stand it that there is something garlic-y that I can't get.... Sigh...

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  18. Yummmmm...that looks so good!!! That pesto looks incredible!!!

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  19. I have been seeing so many delicious looking recipes on blogs with green garlic. This is no exception! Looks so great! I need to get some of that stuff :)

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  20. Brilliant. I can just imagine the taste. It looks so enticing.

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  21. Wow, that looks terrific. Have not tried scapes, but will keep my eye out for them now!

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  22. Garlic Scapes are gone here!!! We are picking up the garlic's heads already, but I do love them... on a tortilla for example are also fantastic but I'm waiting expectantly for your vichycoisse :D

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  23. I can't even explain how good that looks and sounds, looking forward to all your other creations with scapes. I'll be on the lookout for these!

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  24. Garlic scape pesto - what an inventive idea - I have them in my garden and I have to try this - really sounds fabulous.

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  25. This is SO wonderful...wonder if I shall find them here!

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  26. Ooooo, yum.... I've heard a few blogger mention scapes recently - cheers for the pictures!

    I am going to investigate to see if I can get them here!!

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  27. who knew? .... this is why I love food blogs...I am learning all the time.!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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