Monday, June 20, 2011

What to Do with Garlic Scapes

Garlic scape harvest
Photo by Melanie Jolicoeur

Here in Western Massachusetts it's time to get into the garden and enjoy the first delicacy of growing garlic — scapes! Pinching off the scapes before they flower sends the plant's energy into growing larger bulbs, which will be harvested later in the season.

If you have an abundance of scapes, author Sherri Brooks Vinton suggests preserving them in oil and either refrigerating or freezing them for future use. Here's the technique she shares in her best-selling book Put 'em Up!

Garlic Scapes in Oil

Makes about 1 pint

When the scapes come, they come in droves. Raw, they have the pungent taste of raw garlic — great in salads or puréed in a pesto. You can tame them with a little heat, however. Sautéed, they have the taste and texture of asparagus, with just a whiff of garlic. When they are cooked this way, I can pack them in the freezer to use whenever the urge hits.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups finely chopped scapes
Pinch of salt

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the scapes and salt and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Refrigerate: Transfer to a bowl. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Freeze: Spoon the scapes into ice-cube trays, cover, and freeze for up to 6 months.

You can visit Sherri at her website.

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