17 July 2011

Preserve Scapes

If you are anything like me, then you've been loading up on as many garlic scapes as possible for the last few weeks. This is one of my favorite times of year. I wish garlic scapes grew out of each garlic plant MULTIPLE times before the garlic harvest, but alas they only appear once, and perhaps it's better this way because it makes them so much more special.

The season is fleeting, and they won't be around much longer, here are some ways you can preserve them:

I have to admit, I made three types of pesto using garlic scapes this season, and they're all in my freezer right now, where they will keep for many months. They are all very simple, and rely on the same formula: add garlic scapes, herbs and/or nuts and/or cheese, olive oil, and salt to taste (maybe even some lemon or lime) to a food processor, blender, or molcajete (mortar) and you have your pesto.

First I made one with almonds, it's vegan (though would taste really good on a steak), and has a nice crunch to it. Here's a photo of it in the great outdoors:

Then I made one with a large bunch of fresh basil. Here's a picture of it after a spin in the food processor:

Both of these came out great, and the beauty of garlic scapes is that the garlic flavor is much milder than that of garlic cloves, so you can kinda go crazy with them in their raw state without getting the super-spicy bite that you would from large quantities of raw cloves.

I also ended up making a large batch with both fresh basil and parsley, with a small pile of grated parmigiano reggiano mixed in. I think that one is my favorite, but I'm kind of a cheese fiend...

Compound Butter
I did not make a scape compound butter this year, I did last year and enjoyed it very much. If you eat butter, I highly recommend this. It too can be frozen for many months just like the pesto. I wrote about making compound butter out of ramps (aka wild leeks) here so check that out. In that post I link to a recipe for making your own butter then turning that into the compound butter. You can follow that and just substitute chopped scapes, or you can simply buy butter, and use that for your compound butter. The butter I bought to make my scape compound butter with this year got eaten, by me, before I had a chance to add the scapes. So much for that idea!

1 comment:

  1. I made pesto, garlic bread (with leftover compound butter) and sautéed scapes today. And there are still more scapes in my fridge (I think I have a problem).