Garlic scapes, the green stem or shoot of a garlic plant, rise above the ground to soak up sunshine in the spring and early summer. During these months, they are quite easy to find at local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. The flavor is similar to that of a typical garlic clove, but more crisp and clean. Some people find the flavor a bit too stringent, but I’m sure you will love them as much as I do.
Besides eating them raw with a ranch sauce or mild, refreshing dipping sauce, garlic scapes can be grilled or friend and eaten as a separate dish. However, most people, including myself, prefers to take advantage of the taste and aroma to spice up otherwise plain dishes.
Cannelli Bean Dip
One of my favorites is Cannellini Bean Dip.
15 ounces (425 g) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained3/4 cup garlic scapes, minced1/2 cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce1/4 teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
(parsley or cilantro to balance the flavor of the scapes)
1. In a food processor, blend the beans, garlic scapes, and oil for about 30 seconds until the mixture is creamy but not watery.
2. Add the lemon juice, hoisin sauce, and salt and pepper before blending for an additional 30 seconds.
3. Serve the dip with a crisp cracker or wasa-like bread wafer for texture.
4. Top with Parmesan cheese for an extra boost.
Garlic Spring Potatoes
Another one of my favorite garlic scape dishes is Garlic Spring Potatoes.
2 pounds red Idaho potatoes, scrubbed
3 cups garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1 cup Spanish onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
2 tablespoons butter
1. Cube potatoes and place them in a big pot with just enough water to cover. Add nearly 2 tablespoons of sea salt; leave just enough sea salt aside to add flavor at the end of the recipe. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.
2. When the water reaches the boiling point, remove the pot from the heat and add the garlic scapes. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the water and separate the potatoes from the scapes.
3. Heat 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet. Add potatoes and cook until lightly browned, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add butter and reduce the heat to a medium simmer, about 8 to 9 minutes.
4. Add garlic scapes and onion to the skillet; cook an additional 1-2 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste.
I’m sure these tasty treats will help you prepare your own garlic scapes like a seasoned professional and have a wonderful time doing it. Enjoy.