My friend Mike and I were chatting on the afternoon of The Kid’s birthday party as our children were in a bounce house being children. One of the great things about shooting the breeze with him is how I never know where the conversation will land. As it often does, the subject of food came up and he started talking about his CSA share for the week. Mike said that he got garlic scapes in his weekly pickup and had no idea what to do with them. I have seen them before at the farmer’s market available both whole or in pureed form from Empire Buffalo. I suggested a pesto, which was my way of saying, “I have no idea.”
Garlic scapes look a lot like chives. Long, thin, curvy and fragrant, the garlic scape is what grows from the top of a hard bulb of garlic (or so I’ve read). The primary difference between the chive and scape is the aroma: chives are like a fragrant onion, while garlic scapes smell like, wait for it, garlic. They fall into that class of bonus veggies — pea tendrils or shoots, zucchini flowers, beet greens, or the tops of a spring onion — where the flowering bud or tendril support are edible and delicious.
So, fast forward a few weeks later when Kelly, one of The Wife’s colleagues, offered up a quart-sized bagful of garlic scapes for our use. She had a bunch of them and was offering them up to other homes from her garden. Almost as soon as they came home, they went into the food processor.
WHAT WORKED: A basic puree. Instead of doctoring up the pesto with pine nuts or too much other stuff, I pureed them with a little bit of olive oil.
WHAT DIDN’T: I just love grabbing pans out of the oven without a potholder. It’s like a hobby.
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy.
BEST FOR: Changing up the red sauce pizza routine or when you have garlic scapes and don’t know what to do with them.
SERVE WITH: Beer. Good pizza begs for good beer.