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Garlic Scapes, the Great (es)Scapes

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scapes Season Is Upon Us…

At this time of year, the garlic scapes tangle shows up in the CSA bag on a regular basis.  It starts as a few sprigs and ends in a mess that hair conditioner could not untangle.  Well loved for its garlic-y enough flavor, without overpowering punch that garlic can sometimes have.  A garlic scape may not be any less kissable on the breath, but it imparts the garlic flavor in a slightly more subtle way. Sometimes it is sliced into little rounds, gently sautéed with a peppery olive oil and spooned over freshly cooked pasta. More often than not, it ends up in an olive oil suspension and we call it garlic scape pesto.

Stored in a large jar in the fridge, fresh garlic taste is on hand at moment’s notice to add to sauces, soups, stews and sautés.  EasyPeasy as we say at Bleuberet.  Garlic scapes can be found around the July time frame, just before the fresh garlic bulbs come into season.  Farmer’s markets most definitely have them, and as more and more grocery stores try to follow local food trends, they may appear in the produce section of bigger stores.  Grocery markets are great, but fresh at the farmer’s stand or market is preferable.

Garlic scapes
Garlic Scapes
Garlic Scapes first Grinding-2
garlic scape pesto

So as the amount of the garlic scape entanglement grows each week, there are only so many that can be consumed at one time, hence, freezing becomes the mode of preservation.  Rather than glance and freeze as one would with most vegetables of this nature, the pesto is the best method.  When frozen, olive oil simply solidifies and when Brough back to room temperature is exactly as it was before.  4oz/125g to 8oz/255g are best size jars and best quantities to freeze in.  It is the perfect amount to keep in the fridge, use and not have unused portions to throw away. Use 8 fl oz/255 ml olive oil to 10-12 garlic scapes. Cut dry ends and remove the lighter green bulbous part near the top.  Chop slightly and place all in a food processor or blender.  Purée away.  Store in mason jars with a piece of plastic wrap in between the lid and jar.  It will help to keep freezer burn at bay and will keep the lid truly reusable.

Garlic Scapes Pesto
Garlic Scape Pesto

Some look at garlic scapes as a vegetable and others look at them as the zucchini of the garlic/onion family.  In other words they begin and they keep coming and coming.  In Maine, anything green is good.  This is the radish pesto recipe from last year – yes, you can eat the tops of radishes.

Do you cook with garlic scapes? What do you make and how do you use them?


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