The produce options at the Sequim Farmers Market have begun to swell. Strawberries were plentiful this past week, as were gorgeous heads of lettuce, broccoli and garlic scapes. This is just the beginning of the great abundance.
Garlic scapes are just starting to become a known entity to those who aren’t gardeners. Most of us are used to the paper white covered garlic, but it’s not everyone who is keen to the fact that the whole garlic plant is edible. The leaves that grow up and then the scape, which is the flower of the garlic which produces seeds if left to mature, can be eaten.
The scape when picked young and tender is fabulous for cooking. It has a fresh, verdant garlic flavor but not the sharp bite of the clove and there is no peeling. It is delicious roasted, pickled, grilled or sautéed.
Their season is short and there’s just one curly pigtail shoot per plant, so come get them for this limited season. Below is a two-part recipe that incorporates nutrient rich kale which also can be found at the market. First you make a paste of the scapes, then you use that in a pesto.
Make Garlic Scape Paste by taking 1 bunch of garlic scapes, tips trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths and 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil. In the food processor, make this into a paste. It can be used as a garlic in just about anything. It keeps for about 2 weeks in the fridge and freezes nicely in an airtight tub or zip-lock bag.
Kale Basil Pistachio Garlic Scape Pesto
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed, torn into pieces
1 bunch basil, stems removed
3 tablespoons Garlic Scape Paste
1⁄3 cup toasted pistachios
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Blanch kale in boiling water for one minute; rinse with cold water, drain and squeeze dry.
Place kale, basil, Garlic Scape Pesto and pistachios in food processor bowl; turn processor on and add olive oil until thick paste forms.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lisa Bridge is the manager of the Sequim Farmers Market. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 460-2668.