Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GARLIC SCAPES... A NEW CULINARY WONDER!

On our trip last week to Ithaca, NY, we stopped off at our favorite Farmers Market... The Ithaca Farmers Market. http://www.ithacamarket.com/
We always find something new there to try and this time was no exception. We happened to notice people checking out and buying these curly looking scallions (or so we thought). They were buying a TON so we knew they couldn't be scallions because what do you do with a TON of scallions. We kept walking around and found another 'farmer' that had these interesting curly things. We asked him about them. He explained that they are Garlic Scapes... the stems and seed heads of the garlic plant. For about 2 weeks in June, they curl and that's the perfect time to pick them. He explained that if they don't look like a pigs tail, they aren't ready! He said that people can't get enough of these things! They saute them, pickle them and make pesto with them. Well, PJ and I LOVE garlic so we HAD to get some of these and give it a try. It was too early in the week as we weren't going home for 5 more days so he told us where his farm stand is and he'll pick some Tuesday night for us. We ended up buying 5 POUNDS of these things. I LOVE canning so my plan was to make pesto and pickle some.

The recipe we use for making pickled scapes is the Dilly Beans recipe found in the Ball Blue Book.Quite a few blogs recommended this recipe. I read that these taste best after 3 weeks of being in the brine so I actually haven't tried them yet!

DILL PICKLED GARLIC SCAPES


2 pounds Garlic Scapes
1/4 cup canning salt
2-1/2 cups vinegar
2-1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
4 cloves garlic, divided (I did NOT add these. The Scapes are strong enough in flavor!)
4 heads dill, divided
Trim ends off green beans. Combine salt, vinegar and water in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving 1/4” head space. Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic, and 1 head dill to each pint. Ladle hot liquid over beans, leaving ¼” head space Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: about four pints.

Then I made Pesto with a bunch of Scapes. This was VERY strong in taste and hopefully will calm down after a while. I froze all of the jars except one, which is in the refrigerator. I've read that people love mixing a little with mayo to make a spread with it .

Garlic Scape Recipes: Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto
Ingredients
  • 10 garlic scape (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of toasted almonds
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
Procedure
Mix the finely chopped garlic scape, Parmesan cheese, almonds and half of the olive oil in a container of a food processor. Blend the mixture and see if more olive oil and Parmesan is required and add the same. You can decide upon the texture of the pesto the way you like it. Season the mixture with salt. You can also add a bit of fresh lemon juice just before serving. You can preserve this garlic scape dish in a refrigerator for a couple of days. All you have to do is place the mixture in an airtight container.

2 comments:

Bo said...

I love garlic scapes, but they are so hard to find around here.

Tami B. said...

I've never heard of these, and they sound amazing. I'll keep my eye out for them.