Garlic scapes, are a yummy victim of our industrial food system needlessly forgotten it seems from the American veggie repertoire. First what is a garlic scape? Simply it is the flower stalk of any hardneck garlic variety. It shoots up before the garlic is ready to be harvested in late spring and is usually cut to keep the plants energy in its bulb. If picked early enough it is a delicate versatile vegetable. Picked too late and they still make for some good sword fights by children and farmers. They have a mild garlicky taste and a texture similar to fresh picked asparagus. You can cook it much the same as you would an asparagus, it works well in soup, sautéed, stir fried, steamed, main ingredient in pesto, grilled, fried in tempura batter, or even pickled whole in a brine. With a little creativity there are endless possibilities.
Garlic scape soup
A taste of garlic like no other, mild, almost buttery and nutty with a green flavor of spring makes this a lovely soup. A favorite of my three year old son, it can be served with french bread for a light meal. Makes 2 quarts
½ lb Garlic Scapes
6 oz (1 med) Onion
12oz (1 large) Yellow potato
3 heads of green garlic (immature whole heads of garlic)
1 tsp salt
2 ½ cups chicken broth
¼ cup white wine
2 cups whole milk
½ a lemons zest and juice
Tabasco sauce to taste, (at least 2 drops)
Cut and discard scape tips just beyond the flower head, cut scapes into rough inch long pieces and set aside. Peel and roughly chop onion, green garlic and potato, set aside with the scapes. Melt the butter in your soup pot and sauté the vegetables until onions turn translucent, but not so hot you burn your butter or brown the vegetables. Deglaze with the wine and add the broth. Cook until potatoes are tender, remove from the heat and pour into a blender with the last of the ingredients and Purée. Taste and adjust flavor as desired.