I planted about 56 cloves of garlic last fall.
Finally, this week, I have garlic scapes! What are garlic scapes you ask? (Don't feel bad if you don't know I didn't know until I bought them one night last summer at the farmers market!)
Anyway, a garlic scape is the tender curling young stalks of hardneck garlic. Harvested in the spring, they are crunchy and garlicky, and, like garlic cloves, their flavor is mellowed by cooking. (I actually find their flavor mellow anyway, but I like garlic) They will flower if you let them and then the garlic plant is working on producing the flower rather than the bulb below. You need to cut them off!
And so I did! I cut 3 yesterday and both evenings we had a simple vinegarette of lemon, olive oil and garlic scapes over my homegrown lettuce! (I only used 1/2 scape per evening) I am going to make some garlic scape pesto later this week.
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.And I'm at least going to dream about this naughty dish.
I will have about 45 (that is all that came up) of these babies between this week and next (you have to get them off the plants NOW) and they do keep for a while in the fridge. If you are in my neighborhood please stop by because I would love to share this with you, especially if you've never had it! (Although you have to promise to eat it because I get really grouchy when people waste my homegrown goodies!)