Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Garlic Scapes: Get 'Em While The Gettin' Is Good!

I have a 'thing' for garlic. It's not quite as bad as my obsession with pepper, but still, it's not admirable...especially when I find myself on a date after consuming an ungodly amount of it.

But it seems as though garlic cloves have a little competition these days since I discovered garlic scapes at the farmer's market. 

Get out a paper and pen. Jot down a few notes. Here's your anatomy lesson for the day...

Garlic scapes are the curly green stalks that grow from the hard-neck varieties of garlic. Back in the day, farmer's got hip to the notion that the scapes were sabotaging the cloves by stealing their nutrients. The cloves weren't growing to full capacity without the nutrients so those clever farmers started harvesting the scapes a few months before the garlic cloves.When they did, the bulb size of the cloves increased by as much as 30%. 

Now you'd think that the stalks are useless, but there's good news...they are just as exciting as the garlic cloves! They have all the nutritional benefits of the cloves - prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer - plus, they contain a fair amount of protein and fiber with almost no caloric content.

Here's what you can do with these little buggers...

  • Use them in lieu of garlic for a milder effect. - Perfect for that post-dinner kiss!
  • Saute them in olive oil for a few minutes until slightly charred. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and you've got yourself a tasty side or snack! - Your friends will be impressed by your snacking prowess!
  • Make a garlic scape pesto (recipe below). - Oh the possibilities!
  • Use them like you would any other vegetable - add to stirfries, sprinkle onto salads or add to the top of your pizza. - The cutest vegetable you'll ever get your hands on!
  • Make a garlic scape hummus (recipe below). - Hummus that's hip!

Sadly, garlic scapes are only available in the summer for a short period of time, but you can stock up on them and freeze them for use in the winter. They're great in soup!

Give them a try before they disappear. You can thank me later.

Here are some recipes to get you started...

Image courtesy of staceysnacksonline.com

Image courtesy of spicedplate.blogspot.com

Image courtesy of synergyfarmrecipes.blogspot.com

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