Since it’s June you’re sure to be seeing scapes piled up at the farmers’ markets. Scapes are those long, smooth, curly green things. They are the tops of garlic and farmers cut them off so that the plant grows the garlic bulb instead of a garlic flower.
I’m sure scapes can be used any number of ways but since they are a seasonal delight I tend to stick to my favorite way to prepare them, on the grill. Just toss them in some olive oil, sprinkle them with some salt, and throw them on the grill for a a few minutes, flip them, give them a few more minutes and then serve them alongside your favorite grilled protein. We’ve got flank steak, shrimp, asparagus, and brats just to cover all the bases on a perfect summer evening.
I guess the only other thing you need to know about scapes is don’t even try to straighten them out or cut them into what you might believe to be a more manageable shape. Their curly tangle works really well on the grill and prevents them from dropping through the grate into the fire.
Scapes flavor is subtlety garlic, more green than not, and nutty. These flavors make it a prime candidate for pesto. For some reason I had a ton of scapes last year and I made several batches of pesto that I tucked into the freezer and then discovered this past week. The pesto freezes really well but I do recommend a double or triple layer of container (either bag, plastic wrap, or plastic container) because the pesto is incredibly pungent and you don’t want everything in your freezer to absorb that garlic smell.
I added the pesto to some turkey kabobs that I grilled. It was tasty and really pepped up an otherwise totally boring kabob. The pesto recipe is simple and you should give it a try, it’s also fabulous on pasta.
There’s a lovely veggie gratin over at What Geeks Eat… and a salmon, pistachio oil combo that proves that cooking by complimentary colors is a good idea. Next week will be my lasst post here as a guest blogger and I’ve got something incredibly cool to share with you.