Garlic scapes are in season. What is a garlic scape- you ask? Why it’s the shoot that the garlic plant sends up that will turn into flowers and then a seed pod with bulbettes.
Cutting the garlic scape off is supposed to help the garlic bulb to become larger because it’s not putting the energy into small bulbs. It has a milder garlic flavor but can be used in place of garlic. Some garlic scapes circle around while others just grow straight up. The garlic scape should be cut off early while it is still soft because the stem becomes more fibrous and tougher as it gets older.
Garlic scapes are great in any recipe that uses garlic, or green garlic. It can be used in pesto – or just tossed with pasta. Scapes can be used in dips, hummus, or aiolis, in soups or stews, and salads.
Try this recipe: Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in a Garlic Scape PestoDiana
What to eat when it’s hot outside ? A salad with pesto as the dressing is better than mayo or heavy dressings and parts of it can be made ahead of time to be combined sometime later before you eat. Both my husband and my son enjoyed this for dinner, my husband loved it so much he finished off whatever was leftover that same evening.
I received garlic scapes in my market bag and used it in the pesto and the salad itself, chopping it into pieces about one to two inches in length. I cut the asparagus and the leeks to the same size as the garlic scapes (though they weren’t used in the pesto). I prepared this again with more asparagus for our Memorial Day family gathering, but I have broccolini that would work well and so would fresh peas.
Garlic scapes are substituted for garlic in this dish, I used it in the pesto and the salad. They are the seed heads that shoot up among the garlic, cutting the scape off is supposed to lead to a bigger head of garlic. While you are patiently waiting for your garlic to grow, you can cut off your scape and substitute it in your recipes.
- Bunch Parsley
- Bunch Oregano
- 2 Garlic Scapes
- Bunch Basil
- ¼ cup Pine Nuts divided
- Olive oil
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 8 oz dried Orzo
- 8 Asparagus stalks
- 4 Garlic Scapes
- 2 Leeks
- Pine Nuts
- Grated Parmesan
- Place all Pesto ingredients into a food processor or magic bullet.
- Drizzle olive oil in and pulse.
- Check to see if the pesto is the right consistency – it should be loose enough to toss with salad and coat the pasta, but not too loose that it will just slide right off.
- If it isn’t loose enough add more oil and pulse again.
- Cook Orzo according to package directions.
- Slice the garlic scapes, the asparagus and the leeks.
- The leeks will need to be rinsed again so that all of the dirt and sand is removed.
- Drain pasta and the vegetables and toss together.
- Toast Pine Nuts and add to the Pasta
- Toss the pesto with the pasta salad.
- Sprinkle Parmesan, salt and pepper and toss again.
I’m adding a note here that I’m entering this pasta salad as my entry for Culinary Smackdown – Battle Salad. Come visit and see the entries.
Lamb Mint Sausage is my new favorite sausage. We bought it at Blues Creek Farm Meats when we were at the Lamb Cutting Class and discovered that we love it . The mint is sort of subtle, and when you throw it into an Alfredo sauce like my daughter did last week, you might not taste the mint at all. However, if you cook it on it’s own and serve it without any sauce, you can get the nice mint flavor that’s subtle, but it’s there. As a result, I don’t like to mix this sausage with other foods and serve it on the side. Tonight, to go with the sausage, I made one of my husband’s favorite sides – potatoes, though he likes potatoes almost any way you can think of to prepare it. I did a rough smash, mixed it with some garlic and shallots that were sauteed in oil, and some fresh spinach that wilted down. I threw in a couple of tablespoons of butter and some garlic olive oil and stirred it around a little. That’s it. Garlicky potatoes – yummy, yummy.
- 3 red potatoes – cut into chunks about 2 inches by 3 or 4 inches and boiled until just soft
- 1 whole shallot peeled and large diced
- 3 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
- 3 cups of fresh spinach (not packed)
- 3 tbs of garlic olive oil
- 2 tbs of butter
Pour about 3 tbs olive oil into a saute pan. Heat up and when it is hot enough, saute the shallots and garlic lightly. Drain almost soft potatoes. Add to pan with shallots and garlic and using a potato smasher or bottom of a slotted spoon, rough smash the potatoes. With a large spoon, toss the potatoes with the spinach while the spinach wilts. Throw in the butter, the salt, pepper and chopped herbs and give it a nice mix heating it up. Drizzle top with a little more garlic oil and serve.