6.24.10 The Great Scape
You’re probably seeing garlic scapes at your local farmers markets right about now. They are those unruly shoots that spring from the tops of garlic plants (much like hair springs from my head most mornings). A beautiful, bright green, scapes have a garlicky fragrance flavor that is milder, fresher and more grassy than garlic bulbs. (The scapes are cut in order to strengthen the growth of the bulbs underground.) Try them raw, or lightly cooked in a stir-fry. This pesto recipe shows them off nicely, and is great as a dip, stirred into hot pasta, eaten with cheese or spread on a sandwich.
You can also chop or thinly slice scapes and add them to a tuna or chicken salad, stir them into hot rice, or scatter them over a green salad as you would scallions or herbs. They’re nice in guacamole and fresh salsa, and make a stellar addition to pizza, bruschetta and stocks. In short, a welcome and versatile ingredient that will keep the vampires away.GARLIC SCAPE AND ALMOND PESTOmakes about 1 cup10 garlic scapes, finely chopped1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste)1/3 cup slivered almonds, very lightly toasted1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil1 tablespoon lemon juice½ teaspoon pimentón, mild or spicysea saltPut the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil, the lemon juice, pimentón and more cheese, if needed. Blend again. (If you want it thinner, add more oil.) Season to taste with salt.If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. Store in the fridge for a couple of days or packed airtight in the freezer for a couple of months.