Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Garlic Scape Pesto

My tomatoes and garlic are like two ships passing in the night: as the toms happily put out new shoots in their roomy pots, the leaves on the garlic plants start to droop and turn brown.  They were putting up scapes like crazy a few weeks ago, so I made garlic scape pesto.  I grow German Extra Hardy, a hard-neck garlic.

Garlic scapes are that central curly-cue thing, and they are completely edible and delicious.  If you let them keep growing, they will turn into a pretty garlic flower.  But I want garlic, not flowers, so I had to behead the flower buds in service of a higher purpose.  And I am very purposeful about my garlic.

The pesto itself was easy to make: just the cut-up scapes, a little olive oil, salt, pecans, and some nutritional yeast as a thickener/umami flavor (it's a good sub for parmesan cheese).  Blend blend blend in the blender.  Pesto!  This turns into an awesome crust when schmeared on some pork and slapped on the grill.  I can vouch from experience.  It's pure garlic though, so figure out how much you can handle before you go crusting willy-nilly, okay?

I've also used garlic scapes in stir-fries.  Each year's crop of garlic only produces as many scapes as bulbs (although this year one bulb put up two scapes and I am wildly curious about what is going on down below) so there wasn't a whole lot I could do with my yield.  I'll try something new next year.

Curious about what's in that bulge?  Me, too.  Look!  A beginning flower!

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