09 June 2012

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scapes are the stem and seed pot of the garlic bulb.  Garlic is usually planted sometime between September and October.  The cloves are separated from the bulbs, some of the papery skin is rubbed off and the cloves are planted separately, about 10 - 12" apart in rows.  The garlic bulb must go through a period of vernalization, which is basically the cold period through the winter.  This vernalization is necessary for the plant to flower the following season.  However, when producing garlic, we don't want the plant to go to flower, so the scapes which harbor the seed pods are removed while they are still green.  These scapes have the same garlic flavor as the bulbs and are widely used in cooking but only available for a very short period of time.  This year, being that we had such a mild winter and early spring, the scapes are about a month early.  We typically don't harvest them until the beginning of July.  The remaining leaves of the garlic plant then begin to turn yellow and dry.  It is after this process that the garlic itself is then harvested. 

-Great on toast and bagels just as it is on pastas, seasoning for meat and vegetable dishes and also used as a salad dressing…

I have no measurements for this recipe but it is so very simple.  No doubt it will be so versatile and loved, you’ll want to prepare extra to have on hand.

As with asparagus, you’ll want to trim the thicker, tough ends of the scapes and discard.  Wash and pat dry the remaining Garlic Scapes.  Puree Garlic Scapes with a little olive oil in a food processor until smooth….you’re done!  Very easy.  Now spread on bread, toast, crackers, or bagels and enjoy!  Great as a pesto on pastas or add a bit to a cruet with olive oil and vinegar and make a salad dressing.  Season meats before roasting or grilling; add to sautéed vegetables for seasoning. 

NOTE:  You can also chop the Garlic Scapes and use them in vegetable or rice dishes either fresh or sautéed.  

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