What’s in the Box? Garlic Scapes!

What can I say about garlic scapes? They are pretty strange and the farms seem to give their shareholders a truck of them early in the season. The garlic scape is the flowery stalk that sprouts out of the garlic bulb. The beginning of summer is generally the only time they are available since the green stalk becomes woody as the summer goes on and the garlic becomes ready for harvest. I have heard a few other CSA-friends say that the garlic scape is the one veggie they have asked their farms to stop giving them. Seriously? I mean, garlic scapes are quite unruly – they are sometimes referred to as serpent garlic which is a fitting name given the long, spirally green stem that they have.

You can use garlic scapes the same way you use garlic, and I keep mine in my crisper in the fridge and they seem to last a long while without getting soft or wilty.  They were in my first share of the season toward the end of June and I am still using them almost two months later.  I actually prefer the garlic scape to regular garlic in some recipes.  Any time I want to boost flavor without dealing with the garlic chopper or hand chopping a garlic bulb I reach for the scape and finely slice the green stem. You can eat the whole thing! For me, they are a favorite in omelets, stir fry’s, sautéed vegetables and they add a nice crisp to salads. I do not think the scape is as pungent as a garlic bulb, which is another reason I enjoy cooking with it – it is just enough flavor and aroma that it is pleasant and not over-powering.  Their green stem is a nice color too and adds some flare your recipes.

If you still have these crazy curly q’s lurking around in your veggie crisper read on to see how you can make the best use of garlic scapes!

THE GOOD STUFF

Those little coils contain a good amount of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A. Like their other green counterparts, they hold good antioxidants, sulfur compounds which contribute to anti-cancer properties and other nutrients that can protect our bones, liver and kidneys. Every time you reach for veggies instead of unnatural and/or processed foods you are feeding your body powerful, dense nutrition that will keep you healthy and strong.

Two Simple Ways to Incorporate Garlic Scapes into your Cooking

Other than chopping raw and using in your existing recipes, here is a unique take on a pesto and summer dip!

PESTO

This garlic scape pesto recipe is one to enjoy now or freeze and use all winter long!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of pine nuts

3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes or combination of fresh herbs and garlic scapes equaling 3/4 cup

Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

A few generous grinds of black pepper

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Method:

In a saute pan over low heat, toast the pine nuts until just beginning to brown. You’ll want to stir and toss for 2 – 3 minutes to avoid burning. Set aside and let cool for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

Combine the scapes, lemon juice & zest, salt, pepper and pine nuts in the food processor. Pulse about 20 times until well combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. Once fully blended, stir in the parmesan cheese. If you are freezing for future use, do not stir in the parmesan cheese until thawed.

SUMMER DIP

Ingredients:

3 cups green peas, fresh or thawed
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup garlic scapes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup water

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Serve with fresh veggies or (organic, all natural and gluten free) tortilla chips.

What do you think?

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