So we planted the four varieties of garlic and I completely forgot that one of them (Music) was a hardneck and that the other one we planted was from a local farmer and I simply had no idea if it was hardneck or softneck. Hardneck varieties throw scapes or flowers. You have to cut those off to make sure the actual garlic bulb develops as much as possible. So I was weeding and I noticed that two varieties had grown scapes.
The Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market doesn’t have Saturday hours for two more weeks so we couldn’t take them to market. I called one of the newer chef’s in town and left a message, (Scapes, free!) but they never called back. It is really inconceivable to me – scapes are a delicacy and pretty highly sought after in most culinary circles but not in our area. No one knows what they are.
So what are they? They are a lovely light garlic green basically. You can make a pesto out of it that it perfect in pasta, in Italian dishes, or just spread on bread and toasted for garlic bread. Scapes have none of the bite of raw garlic and when you blend them with some walnuts, olive oil and Parmesan, they make a delicious pesto.
Because I had a few pounds, I chopped them up and froze them as well. I throw the frozen scapes in stirfry, soups, sauces, and pot roast instead of garlic. They are a mellow flavor that imparts beautifully into any dish that calls for garlic.
The recipe for the garlic scape pesto is below. I am not going to lie, I simply chuck all the ingredients into the food processor and add whatever is needed. I freeze it in icecube trays and once it is frozen, I break it into cubes and store it all in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes – about 10 scapes
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese