Monday, July 13, 2009

The Great Scape

Garlic scapes, the wily shoot that grows out of the top of the garlic plant, appear for just a few weeks each year. Lucky for me, they appeared in my sister's CSA basket. She turned them into pesto and me into a knute. (I got better.) No, no...she turned me into a FAN of the scape.

On Beth's recommendation, I used Dorie Greenspan's garlic scape pesto recipe with a few adjustments. Be forewarned - this is for serious garlic lovers only. Scapes have a mellow garlic flavor, but it's still garlic as the base of the recipe. To be sure: Your. Breath. Will. Stink.

Use the prepared pesto like you would any pesto - tossed into pasta, slathered on crostini, stirred into soups, or used as a marinade or salad dressing base. The farmer who grew these scapes recommended an alternate preparation: trimming them to green bean length and sauteeing them. I might try that sometime, tossing some slivered almonds and hot chili flakes into the saute pan as well.

Garlic Scape Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

10 garlic scapes, chopped (bulbous flower removed)
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
¼ cup pine nuts, gently roasted 2-3 minutes in a 350 oven
About ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt

Place scapes, parm, cooled pine nuts and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a small food processor. Process until smooth and well ground. Add olive oil and process into a paste. Adjust seasoning. It is ready to use.

To store, transfer pesto to a small bowl and press onto the surface a piece of plastic wrap.

Further cooking:
White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip - The NY Times

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