As I mentioned last week, we are going to delve into the wonderful, and oh so exciting, world of garlic scapes. Garlic itself is pretty standard in cuisine throughout the world. Most of us are familiar with the taste, and at least a few ways to prepare it. A much underappreciated part of the plant is the scape. The scape is that little green centre that you sometimes find when you cut into a clove of garlic. When the bulb is planted and allowed to grow, the scape emerges. Green and twirling with a beaky flower at the end. Despite their somewhat alien appearance, garlic scapes are a culinary gem. They have been at the market for a couple weeks now, and have been showing up on some peoples CSA’s. I have heard the question quite a few times now “What do I do with them?” More like what DON’T you do with them! In China they are used in stir fry with garlic, broccoli and snow peas. They can be tossed in with your favourite pasta or on top of a salad.
I picked up a bunch from Mile Hill Farms stand at the market last week. It was pouring rain, but I was so set on getting a bunch of scapes, that I hardly noticed. I had my heart set on making garlic scape pesto`. Mile Hill Farms actually had Scape pesto available for purchase, and I was very tempted to buy that, but I was looking forward to making it myself. I didn’t end up making it. After about a half dozen-“ Ooh what about this…or what if I did that” moments, I came up with 2 recipes that I really wanted to try.
So without further ado.
Scape Hummus 3 garlic scapes- cut into 1-2 inch pieces 1 can chickpeas- drained, liquid reserved. Juice of ½ lemon ¼ cup olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
Put everything in the food processor and blend. If it is dry, add a little of the reserved liquid from the chickpeas. Have a sample and adjust the lemon, olive oil and pepper to your liking. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil over the top with a little more cracked pepper.
Garlic Scape Stuffed Tomatoes If you go to the market you have undoubtedly seen, and perhaps stood in the line for DeBruins tomatoes. There is a reason for that lineup, the tomatoes are great. They sell little clamshells of small bite-sized tomatoes, and it is these that we are going to stuff! After your tomatoes are washed, set up a cutting station. Cut the bottom of the tomato off, so that the stem end remains (so that it can provide a stable base. After all, you don’t want all of your hard work rolling on to the floor!) With a small spoon scoop out the insides. It’s just like a pumpkin but on a much smaller scale. Repeat with all of the tomatoes until you have a lovely little forest of tomato cups.
For the filling you will need 2 tbsp butter ½ onion- diced 2 scapes- sliced into ¼ inch pieces. ½ cup cream cheese- softened ½ cup sour cream. ½ cup finely grated extra old gouda or parmesan.
Melt your butter in a saucepan, and add the onion cooking over low heat. After the onions begin to turn translucent, add the scapes. Cook over low heat, stirring often until the onions are golden. In a bowl, mix the onion/scape mixture with the cream cheese, sour cream and the cheese until it is all incorporated. To fill the tomatoes, put the filling into a sandwich size ziplock bag, and cut off the corner. Carefully pipe the filling into each of the emptied tomatoes. Using a bag like this helps avoid a giant mess, and your treats will look great. Garnish with some chives, scapes, or whatever you’ve got around. Serve immediately , or chill until ready to use.
Scapes are available in your garden, Belluz Farms, Mile Hill Farms and online at www.marketstore.locallygrown.net where you can buy locally from the comfort of your home or office! Have you tried cooking with scapes? I’d love to hear how you use them.