Monday, June 4, 2012

Garlic Scape Recipes


Garlic scapes - they make you want to play with your food. When I was a child, I went through a period of loving Lick-a-Maid.  It felt so naughty to dip your finger into a packet of colored, flavored sugar and slurp your sugar-coated finger. The finger would eventually turn purple or red or green. It never failed to delight me.  Later, I would go home and check my tongue in the mirror. If it was purple, my day was made. I still like days when my day is made over something small. It may seem inconsequential - but it never is.

I'm not imbibing straight sugar anymore and the heyday of turning my finger and tongue purple is over. But picking up scapes and looking at their curly ropes still makes me want to play. I tend to create sailors knots with the scapes and dangle them in front of the cat before I finally chopped them. But when it's time to cook - the real play begins. An Italian hummus is devised - perfect for Small-Bites Sunday.



Scapes are fleeting. They're the holiday that comes around once a year. And when they're gone - they're truly gone. Nobody trucks in scapes from foreign countries. Scapes are the green tops of the garlic bulbs that farmers cut around this time of year to allow the bulbs to grow larger and stronger. A few years ago it was noted that those scapes had a strong garlic flavor and could be used in cooking. Voila! A new food-trend was born. The cooks got a new form of garlic and the farmers got some cash.

For a few weeks in June you can find a bundle at the Farmer's Market for a dollar or two. Use the green part of the scapes that are below the small white bulbish end of the green stalk. That's where the flavor is. (You can see the whitish area in the first photo.)


.This is from the NY Times. I played with it because playing is appropriate here. I used more lemon and less oil but their recipe is a god place to start.


White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip - NY Times (find the original here)
1/3 cup chopped scapes (about 4 maybe 5)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 can (15-19 ounces) cannellini beans or about 2 cups of cooked ones
4 tablespoons of olive oil (or more to taste)
salt
pepper

In a food processor pulse scapes, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add olive oil and pulse still smooth. taste and adjust salt and pepper seasonings. Serve on bread, pita, toasts, crackers or with vegetables. Vegan an vegetarian and good for a crowd.

Today, I will smear the spread on pita and add grilled vegetables and call it lunch.

Then there is the pesto. There are many varieties - substitute cheeses, nuts, herbs and amounts of oil at will. Just remember to include the scapes.

Dorie Greenspan Scape Pesto with Almonds
Garlic Scape Pesto with Pistachios
Variations on an herbal theme

I adapted my usual basil pesto recipe for this. In true Italian fashion,. tt's hard to give exact amounts - I do this to taste. The young basil is very sweet right now - and the scapes are sharp and tangy. It's such an endearing combination - I didn't save the first patch for pasta. I just smeared it on bread and ate it. Right out of the food processor. Sometimes that's the most sensible thing to do.




Garlic Scape Pesto
1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes
1 cup chopped basil
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil plus more drizzling on top if freezing

Blend all in a food processor. Taste and adjust. I mean this - tweak this to your sensibilities. I'm sure the amounts I listed were not the ones I wound up with - I alter a lot. Think of the amounts as a starter. You might want more scapes or more cheese - I often want it creamier and add more olive oil. When satisfied, use immediately as a spread or a pasta sauce or atop chicken or pizza. 



If you think a "taste of June" is warranted in January, pour into a freezer-proof container. Layer a little bit of olive oil on top of freeze. It will be very welcome in the winter!


Add the scapes into your favorite pasta dish. (Pasta with sausage and rapini).  Just saute the scapes first - it mellows them.

The end of the pink peonies....


... marks the beginning of the white ones. I don't bring them inside anymore. I discovered you needed to own an anteater to do that. All is fleeting in June - which makes you appreciate it even more.

62 comments:

Barbara F. said...

Never heard of these "scapes", I will be on the look out for them. The white bean dip sounds delicious, and healthy. xo

Erica said...

I never heard of scapes,Claudia. Very interesting....I would love to taste it!

Barbara said...

I want some!! Will check Whole Foods and then on Sat. the farmer's market.
Aren't peonies the most lovely flower? I will always remember my daughter having a big glass bowl of them on her dining room table on my first visit to her in Paris in the 80's. She lived there for 6 years, but those peonies remain in my mind.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Garlic scapes are new to me. Sounds like fun Claudia.

BTW, as a child a friend of mine and I made dark, awful looking concoctions of lemonade and it stained our teeth. You should have seen her father the dentist when he saw us. We thought it was funny, but somehow he missed the humor in it.
Sam

Kitchen Riffs said...

Terrific post! I rarely see garlic scapes in the market, and really had very little idea of what to do with them. But now I do! Excellent ideas - thanks.

WokandSpoon said...

Sounds like the scapes are very versatile. Like some of the other commenters, I've never seen them and didn't know about them. They look a bit like giant chives :-)

The Mom Chef said...

I do hope to find scapes one of these days, though I'm pretty sure our season of them is over. I had some leek scapes from my garden, but never got to using them, drat.

I like the pesto very much. The dip looks awesome took but the pesto draws me in entirely.

Juliana said...

So interesting Claudia, never heard of scapes...but if it is from the garlic family, I am sure that must taste good. Like the white bean dip...simple and so nutritious.
Have a great week ahead :)

Tina Bk said...

This is probably the 2nd time I have ever seen a post on garlic scapes and I still have yet to try them. Looks like you did not have any issue using them up. Both of these are good ones to have on hand to flavor up a lot of things. However, the hummus makes for an awesome dip by itself!
Your flowers here are gorgeous!

Cucina49 said...

I'm so envious--we never, ever see these up here. Your recipes look perfect for capturing their unique flavor, and I'm chuckling at the image of you dangling them in front of your cat.

Wanda..... said...

My garlic will be scaping soon☺, so I'll try the recipes, Claudia!

Pegasuslegend said...

This bean dip iscalling me going to make a batch for sure this week.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love the idea of a garlic scape pesto! That must be an amazing pasta sauce. I'll try any excuse to eat more pasta :)

Your peonies are beautiful!

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog today -- Blogher is using a new comment section form for blog posts that they sponser(sigh), and I know it takes extra steps to complete. Everything will be back to normal tomorrow!

Susan said...

Thanks for this insightful post! I've seen these, but never know what to do with them. I like your attitude of play!

Kim Bee said...

I have yet to see these here. I need to scope some out. They seem worth the trouble of finding.

SKIP TO MALOU said...

First time to hear about scapes. I would imagine your "scapes" is our "champoy" counterpart. I didn't actually like the taste but I love it how it turned our tongue and lips red.. haha
this post made me smile... thank you!
malou

Jeannie said...

I just had these garlic scapes stir fried with pork slices and chillies yesterday! I have not tried making them into pesto or dip, sounds like good ideas. yummy looking on top of your bread:)

Balvinder Ubi said...

i remembered checking our tongue after eating some dark colored ice creams. Those were fun days.
I have never though of using this green part of garlic. Thanks for sharing three ideas.

Torviewtoronto said...

beautiful pictures lovely recipe of the dip

Fresh Local and Best said...

I wish the season for garlic scapes and peonies lasted longer. It's so short that I have to make the most of it. I like the idea of making a big batch of garlic scape pesto and using it in several dishes.

Michelle said...

THANK YOU! I have some sitting in my fridge and I will make the bean dip!

Daniela said...

hello claudia is a pleasure to know your blog, I have a lot of interesting recipes. Thanks for visiting, see you soon Daniela.

Mister Meatball said...

Yep, all the best things never last too long.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great recipes! The dip and pesto both look mighty good. Wonderful.

Cheers,

Rosa

Mari said...

Great recipe for garlic scape pesto, I love it with pasta! Beautiful peonies, they are one of my favorites, but they don't sell peonies plants here.

Wonderful way to welcome summer :)

Mary said...

What a great idea! I've used the scapes for stir-frying but never would have come up with this on my own. I think I'll include it as part of our Father's Day menu. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

tasteofbeirut said...

How funny, I had written a post on scapes and was saving it and now i see this! Your recipes are inspiring me, mine was very basic (just scapes and egg); love scapes!

Reeni said...

I never ate a garlic scape in my life but I'll be looking for them now! You enticed me! As always.

Ruth Martins said...

What a versatile vegetable. I've never come accross it but would love to as you've made so many gorgeous recipes with it.

Kathy said...

I have never seen garlic scapes…I am now an a mission to find some! Love your pesto…looks so vibrant and fresh!

CJ - Food Stories said...

Never heard of these so thanks for sharing ... Love the white bean dip!

Rosita Vargas said...

Todo muy interesante y exquisito y la flor maravillosa la tengo en mi jardín,abrazos y saludos desde chile.

Amy said...

I love garlic scapes! I didn't know they were available in MN yet this year...now I need to find them! Your recipes sound wonderful, especially the pesto. You are lucky to have peonies growing in your yard, they are so beautiful!

Angie's Recipes said...

It must have been a decade or two before I had garlic scrapes. My mom used to make some stir-fries with tofu, or sausages..I miss them.

Joanne said...

I try to snatch up scapes whenever I see them but then I'm usually at a loss for what to do with them! Thanks for these awesome ideas!

Lynda said...

I have heard of scapes, but I haven't eaten them. As a matter of fact, I don't recall even seeing them at our farmer's market. I'll look later this week when I go, but we live in smaller town, so I won't get my hopes up.
Love theses recipes Claudia, so fresh and vibrant looking!

Ellen B Cookery said...

I love these recipes. I've got garlic growing in my garden and will make use of their scopes. Thanks!

Jenn Kendall said...

i so wish i could find garlic scapes here, love your ideas for using them though!

Holly said...

I thought Koreans are the only people who would eat the garlic scapes. So glad to find out Italians do, too :)
I am glad that I found you blog. Your dip looks and sounds delish!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I think I missed the scapes season. Will have to try to plant some next year - or maybe they're still in the farmer's markets around here. All your recipes sound great and your photos look terrific too.

Rebecca Subbiah said...

that dip sounds divine I need to find me some ;-)

My Little Space said...

We normally used garlic scape in stir fried with prawns. It's very delicious with such clean flavour. Btw, June is my favourite month of the year cause me & my girl are both gemini. haha.....
Hope you're having a great day, Claudia dear.
Blessings
Kristy

love2dine said...

This looks so delicious! This is a specialty item that I rarely have

Beth said...

I'm not familiar with scapes (or at least I wasn't before reading this blog). Your small bites look delicious.

I also don't know Lick-A-Maid, but I'm on my way to check out that link!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I checked my translator to see if we eat garlic "scape" but no luck. Looks like we don't have that or used it for cooking. The pesto looks amazing though. My kids are finally into any kinds of pesto and eating lots of sandwiches with it along with some meat. I'd love to use this for pasta. That must be amazing!

Regina said...

I planted a bajillion garlic cloves mostly for the scapes. Some will stay in the ground for bulbs, the rest will be pulled after I harvest the scapes to make room for some different summer veggies -in the meantime my freezer will fill and my tummy will be happy!!!

Lori said...

So glad to have these ideas! I just got a huge bag of garlic scopes from a coworker, and this will be my first round cooking with them.

Life's a shoe said...

ooooh this looks tasty!

Magic of Spice said...

I hope I can find some thus year...love that dip, delicious!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Wow, I loved Lick-a-Maid and have thought about it in years! I like your scapes much better, because in just a couple of respects, I have grown up - lol!

Cake Duchess said...

How have I never had a scape? Or I have and don't remember? I love the dip. It looks so flavorful. But that pesto has me happily craving a spoonful! delicious, Claudia:)

Lyndsey said...

I still haven't been able to find garlic scrapes here in Florida. I saw them on many blogs over the years and want to try them so bad. So this is just thrown into my face, and I'm missing all the fun! :D

I do like using white beans and garbanzo beans when I make a traditional hummus...well I guess it's not really traditional if I use white beans :D

drick perry said...

lovely post... would love to get my hands on a bundle of scapes and certainly your dip or even a bowl of your sensible pesto. and I do envy all of you who are able to grow peonies.. must be a magnificent sight seeing bushes of such beauty

sybaritica.me said...

I have been seeing more and more recipes for scopes lately. I wish, wish, wish they would show up in our stores sometime.

Sophiesfoodiefiles said...

I jst went to another blog & there were a lot of garlic scapes recipes but no pesto recipe & here it is: a stunning & appetizing scape pesto! yum Yum yum, dear Claudia! :)

I also love your white bean & garlic scape dip! Yummy!
A huge thanks!

Frank said...

I'm always a bit at a loss for what to do with scopes. Now I know! Thanks. :=)

Barbara GF said...

I just picked my first batch of scapes this weekend, Claudia, and made some pesto. Great minds, and taste buds, must think alike! I like the dip recipe using the white beans; will have to give that one a try. And I am already pining for the last of the peonies - ah, sweet spring is so fleeting.

Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris said...

I took down notes of everything..This is the type of dip I love offering to my clients...Thanks!

Cucina49 said...

Just had to add that I'm receiving garlic scapes in my CSA box next week and am debating which of these recipes to make!

Nantucket Daffodil said...

Awesome...I am making scape pesto today!

Lori Lynn said...

The scapes have escaped me, I must keep an eye out, the dip sounds great.
Lovely flower photos...
LL

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes said...

It seems scapes are not very well known, but we all want to find them now! It sounds like a wonderful combination for a dip and so many ways of using it. Need to go on a scapes expedition.