Friday, May 25, 2012

Garlic Scapes...Say Whaaa?

Garlic Scapes, aren't they lovely? Graceful, curling like sea plants moving with the currents. But what the heck are they?? Imagine a garlic bulb growing nicely below the surface of the soil, then sending out a lovely green shoot to make a flower. That is a garlic scape, the flower stem of hard neck garlic plants (read more here). I read about them recently in the Spring issue of fine Cooking magazine, but figured I would never see them in person...not in this girl's desert! What a happy surprise when I spotted them last week at our local farmer's market!  I impressed the vendor with my garlic scape knowledge (conveniently choosing not to tell him I had just read the article!). I scooped them up and proceeded to make this creamy potato salad from the fine Cooking issue. The aroma of these babies cooking is enough to win you over, but the flavor boost to the salad was amazing. As a scallion is to an onion, the garlic scape is to the garlic bulb, a mild and aromatic infusion of garlic flavor. I plan to buy as many as I can this Saturday and freeze them, as they have a short Spring season. The flavor of this salad is worth the little extra prep! Enjoy!
Surprise! Garlic Scapes!! Saturday's Farmer's Market Spring bounty!

Potato Salad with Garlic Scapes, Snap Peas and Scallions
Jennifer Armentrout for fine Cooking Magazine Issue 117

3 lb small to medium yellow potatoes such as Yukon Gold, scrubbed
   Kosher Salt
1/4 lb. garlic scapes, pods and tips removed
6-1/2oz. sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Large lemon, finely grated to yield 2 tsp. zest, squeezed to yield 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. plain rice vinegar
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

Put the potatoes in a 6-quart pot; add 2 Tbs. salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Put the scapes on the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and simmer vigorously until the scapes are just tender, about 5 minutes after the water boils. With tongs, transfer the scapes to a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Continue to simmer the potatoes until just tender when pierced about 15 minutes more. Add the peas and simmer until crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Drain the potatoes and peas in a colander. With tongs, transfer the potatoes to a cutting board. Rinse the peas under cold water to stop the cooking, and let drain.
While the potatoes cool, whisk the mayonnaise, oil, lemon zest and juice and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper in a small bowl, set aside. In a large bowl, mix the vinegar with 2 tsp. salt and stir to dissolve.
When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, scrape their skins off with a pairing knife and cut them into 3/4-to-1-inch pieces. Toss them in the vinegar-salt mixture, and then stir in about half of the dressing. Add the scapes, peas, scallions, herbs, the remaining dressing and salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

 Trim off the bulb and tip and most "woody" ends of the garlic scapes

 Gently simmer with the potatoes remove when tender, then do the same with the pea pods. I found I had to cut off the woody ends of the garlic scapes again after simmering.

 Remember to dress the warm potatoes in the vinegar and salt before adding the mayonnaise dressing so your potatoes are well-seasoned.  Mix in the chopped parsley, scallions, scapes and pea pods

Serve at room temperature if possible, then chill the leftovers...if there are any! Discover and conquer garlic scapes! I would love to know what you think of them and how you used them. I loved this salad and will make this again, but the next batch of scapes is heading for pesto!!
Have a fun and safe weekend!

1 comment:

Maria Rose said...

Gotta see if I can find some around here!

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