Dear readers and Facebook fans, you absolutely delighted me with your response to my recent post about ramps. I loved hearing about all your experiences (and warnings about the stink!) with those delicious roots. Thank you!
Now, how many of you are familiar with garlic scapes? These are my favorite farmers' market find from late spring/early summer.
So, what are garlic scapes? They are long, bright green and curly. They grow above ground, from a developing garlic head. Although the flavor is similar to garlic, the taste is intoxicatingly good -- like garlic, but with a mildness to it that allows them to work both raw and cooked.
The best part of the scape is the firm portion. Chop it up and use as a replacement for garlic in recipes. My very favorite garlic scape recipe is my Garlic Scape Carbonara, which -- not to toot my own horn or anything -- was recently named one of the Best of the Web by Saveur Magazine.
Scapes can also be used in pestos like Garlic Scape and Swiss Chard Pesto. This pesto uses almonds, Swiss chard and garlic scapes for a wonderful, earthy sauce that is perfect on pasta or spread on a baguette with fresh mozzarella and just-picked tomatoes.
But, as they say, that's not all! If you love risotto, garlic scapes are great in it. Try my Garlic Scape Risotto for a wonderful change up. It's creamy, garlicy rice goodness.
One more thing: The curly Q's at the top tend to be a little sinew-y, so use those for flavoring stock (hint: freeze them until you are ready to make stock).
What do you like to do with garlic scapes? Share in the comments below.
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.