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Garlic Scapes


The Hersch
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Hersch: Regarding garlic scapes, I was inspired by a recipe I saw in Paula Wolfert's book on Mediterranean grains and greens. Unfortunately, I don't own it, but she stuffed a type of flat bread with a combination of greens that included garlic scapes.

I was planning on doing something similar, adding onions and the greens from my beets--or maybe just roasting the chopped scapes and mixing them into naan.

I'm also reading through Lidia Bastianich's latest book and she has a recipe for gnocchi ravioli that are filled with sausage and spinach. Garlic scapes might be a good alternative.

Here's an eGullet thread on the subject with good links--click--as well as other, quick suggestions including pesto and stir-fries.

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Here's an eGullet thread on the subject with good links--click--as well as other, quick suggestions including pesto and stir-fries.

The thought occured to me--that the conventional wisdom is not to use garlic cloves that have started to sprout, or at the very least, to remove the small piece of green shoot inside the clove, because it will be bitter. Well, that's what the scape is--the little green shoot grown almost to maturity. I did notice one poster saying that she noticed a hint of bitterness when she used it raw, but other people were happily using raw scapes for pesto. I bought some a week ago, and think I still have some. I'm going to try roasting. I've never done that one.

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Monavano, I am glad you enjoyed your visit to the Kingstowne market. Wish you had stopped by and introduced yourself. I'd love to put a face to the name.

You are right, Fairfax County insists all there producers be local (within 125 miles of the market). I am not familiar with the vendor you bought the corn from but I know the rest of the farmers well. Allenberg Orchard (the cherry guys) are indeed located near Fredrick. Medina's Produce and Level Green are in Westmorland County and Mt. Olympus is in Caroline County.

I hope you keep coming back the market. I can assure you that Allenberg will have some of the best peaches in the area and Mt. Olympus is unbeatable for their peppers and cherry tomatoes. Medina's usually has great corn and Level Green will hopefully again have their incredible lima beans. ;)

Thanks so much! I do remember your stall at the market and will introduce myself, hopefully this Friday. The corn was actually not bad the first day, but lost flavor quickly. The cherries, oh my. I had leftover cherry crisp for breakfast this morning. A winner there! Quaill Creek is a thumbs up.

I will surely look forward to the peaches too.

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The thought occured to me--that the conventional wisdom is not to use garlic cloves that have started to sprout, or at the very least, to remove the small piece of green shoot inside the clove, because it will be bitter. Well, that's what the scape is--the little green shoot grown almost to maturity.

Ahhhh! Didn't occur to me. At any rate, I love bitter greens, so that's fine.

I turned to Elizabeth Schneider's reference book on exotic vegetables last night and she mentions scapes in passing while extolling the glory that is Chinese garlic stems which are straight (can't find picture online in quick search). In willing a new cult of the Chinese import into being, she cautions readers not to pick up the curled garlic [scapes] sold at farmers markets or gourmet shops since they can be "inedibly fibrous." We'll see.

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Hakuna Matata

Er, rather, make a frittata*.

I've been sautéing angle-chopped scapes, then adding the egg mixture along with local greens and seasonings for excellent frittata results.

I am also toying with the idea of a "waterscape": Lemongrass broth with flash-fried scapes. I asked a chef to make that later this week as part of his vegetarian tasting menu. If he does, I'll share the results/reactions/lawsuit status.

*Hey, you go find a word that rhymes with frittata and see what you come up with.

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What do you do with these? I bought some on a whim, and now I'm perplexed as to how to use them. My experiment last night was decidedly not a success.

Quaker Valley Farm & Orchard was selling them individually this weekend as vampire bracelets.

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Quaker Valley Farm & Orchard was selling them individually this weekend as vampire bracelets.

Which can only mean The Garlic Scapes at Midnight!

(scapeview with the vampire)

(the vampire lescape)

(queen of the damned stem)

One other tip for these things: They really brighten up any tomato-based soup, especially if you also add a splash of cream or other dairy to mellow their...bite.

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Last night we dined at Bibiana for the first time (though we are long-time fans of Nicholas Stefanelli). My entree was goat (3 ways) over sugar snap peas, beech mushrooms and garlic scapes. Chef said he treats them a little like green beans in that preparation (though they are tougher). They leant a soft garlic flavor to the combination. He also said he's pickled them and used them in tomato sauce, among other ideas. I'm feeling much more inspired about the scape sitting in water on my table. Knowing I'll likely get several more bunches over the next few weeks in my CSA share, I'm happy for new ideas. I did mince some and saute them and cook them in a frittata a few nights ago. Tonight I think I'll use some in the broth when I steam littleneck clams.

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