Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Edible East End's Festival of 7 Ingredients: Chives and Green Garlic

With garlic scapes abundant at the farmers markets and in CSA delivery boxes, I've been using them a lot lately as a substitute for garlic, onions, and shallots in my recipes -- so for Edible Publications Eat Drink Local week here are 10 super easy and tasty garlic scape recipe ideas.

Scapes are Abundant at Southampton Farmers Market
I first learned about these curly, bright green flower shoots four years ago when I got them in my Chubby Bunny CSA box. Scapes are the tops of garlic plants and removed early in the growing season to allow the plant energy to grow the root, what we know as garlic, to produce large, plump and pungent bulbs.  

The scape flavor is less intense than garlic cloves -- starting off mild but no doubt giving a bit of a punch to the tongue -- so you can be more generous in a recipe than you are with fresh garlic.  Ah, but don't be fooled, scapes are quite flavorful.
Garlic Scape Pesto with Walnuts, Parmesan Cheese and Whole Wheat Penne
Inspired by my visit with David Falkowski, mushroom grower, chicken raiser and garlic scape pesto purveyor, of Open-Minded Organics at the Southampton Farmers Market on Sunday, as a base recipe I decided to turn my garlic scapes into a cheese-less pesto with scapes, olive oil, walnut halves, lemon juice and salt which I've been adapting all week for pasta (I added cheese), bean dip (with white cannellini beans).
Here's are 10 different ways to use garlic scape and a pesto recipe:

1) Raw Garlic Scapes Cut in Salad
2) Cooked with Olive Oil -- saute in a pan or cook on a grill for two minutes over medium heat being careful not to burn the scapes. While hot, season with a good quality sea salt and pepper.
3) Garlic Scape Butter - mince garlic scapes and incorporate into softened butter. Store seasoned butter in refrigerator. Use on toast or grilled meats. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Garlic pistou -- a puree of garlic scapes and good quality olive oil. This is the vegan version of above. 
5) Garlic scape pistou - same recipe as above made with parsley, is great on steak or with roasted potatoes. For recipe instructions visit Lighthearted Locavore for Pale Ale Steak and Garlic Scape Pistou Recipes.
6) Garlic Scape Salad Dressing -- mix oil, white wine vinegar in 3:1 ratio, add a dollap of garlic scape pistou and whisk ingredients together Season with a good quality sea salt and pepper.
7) Garlic scape pesto (no cheese)-- see basic recipe below -- includes nuts such as pine nuts or walnuts. 
8) Garlic scape pesto (with cheese) -- basic recipe but with added parmesan cheese - great stirred into risotto, pasta, couscous, farro or any grain for a nice clean kick. 
9) Garlic scape and bean puree  -- Use the basic recipe and puree with white beans (such as canellini beans or chickpea/garbanzo beans)  in a food processor. Gradually add extra olive oil for a smooth texture. 
10) Garlic scape and garlic soup -- Melissa Clark's 2008 recipe from The New York Times


Basic Recipe for No-Cheese Garlic Scape Pesto with Walnuts

12 garlic scapes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnut halves
Juice of 1/3 of a lemon
Sea salt, generous

Trim garlic scapes of any dried pieces and cut each scape into quarters. Add garlic scapes and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor and process until a course paste. Add walnuts and pulse until walnuts are incorporated. Add lemon juice and sea salt, and pulse again. Taste. Add additional salt or lemon as desired.

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