Garlic belongs to the same family as lilies and daffodils, which means it grows from a bulb. That bulb (the part of the plant that we're used to eating) is planted in the fall, and in the spring, the plant begins to send up leaves. When the leaves reach 2-3 feet tall, the plant sends up a seed pod and emerging flower -- and that's what we call the Garlic Scape. Farmers harvest the scape so that the remaining plant will send more energy to the bulb, allowing it to grow bigger. That means we get scapes to eat! Garlic scapes are considered a delicacy in many Asian countries, and have a mild garlic flavor.
* For storage, wrap in a cloth or paper towel. Store in the fridge drawer. Scapes will keep about 10 days if stored this way.
* To prepare, wash with water and trim away discolored parts. Scapes may be woody toward the tips. Discard this part, or use to flavor soup stock.
* You can eat fresh or cooked, and use in any dish that calls for garlic. Substitute 1/4 pound for about 6 garlic cloves. Scapes are great grilled, used raw in salads, or made into pesto.
* Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur compound with antibiotic activity.
RECIPE of the week:
Scape, Sundried Tomato & Basil Pasta
* 8-ounce package bowtie pasta
* 2 T. grapeseed oil (may sub vegetable or olive oil)
* 1 cup garlic scapes, chopped and set aside, plus 2 T. more for garnish
* 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
* 10 basil leaves, chopped (may sub fresh oregano)
* 1/2 cup squeezed lemon juice
* Sea salt
* Black pepper, freshly ground
* Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. In a pot, bring water to a boil, then cook the pasta until al dente (firm but still tender) about 10 minutes. Drain.
2. In a pan, heat oil. Add scapes and cook until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and sauté until they brighten and just begin to release their juices, about 1 minute. Add the lemon and basil, cooking until the basil begins to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss cooked pasta with tomatoes and scapes until all is thoroughly mixed. Serve garnished with grated cheese and/or chopped garlic scapes.
-- Thanks to Community Cook Roz Francis for the recipe, and to Just Food for the scapes tips! For more recipes, check out the Corbin Hill blog and Facebook page.