A Gourmet E’scape

Garlic scapes

I realized this week that the season was moving on for the garlic that I had planted last fall.  I could see that some of them were starting to put up buds for flowers so I began to look up when I’m supposed to harvest them (this is our first venture into growing anything beyond elephant garlic).  And that’s when I read about garlic scapes.  It turns out that culturally one needs to trim off the new buds to allow the plant to put more energy into the bulb (which is the part we normally plan to eat).  But for the hardscape garlic (most of our crop is hardscape whereas commercial garlics are the softscape variety) that new growth comes up on a curly green shoot that makes an epicurean delight all in itself.  By luck I was able to harvest the scapes at just the right time (when they are still curling and flexible).

Cutting up the scapes

Recipes abound online for using these cuttings.  But far and away the favorite use seems to be pesto.  And after our experiment last night I can see why.

Garlic scape pesto

Beth tossed this creamy pesto into a vegetarian pasta dish with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, as well as fresh basil from the garden, and —voila! — we had a delightful eating experience.

Pasta with garlic scape pesto

We also spread the pesto directly on toasted sourdough for a very rich and delicious side dish for the meal… Yum!  The scapes have a kind of essence of garlic flavor with no sharp bite but a delightful aftertaste.

We had also brought in a large bowl of blueberries yesterday morning.

Blueberry pickings

Blueberries en masse

They also had to be part of the menu.  The night before we had taken toasted pound cake (received as a barter gift for blueberries) added unsweetened apricot prevserves, ice cream, blueberries, and amaretto for another sinful eating experience.  Sorry, no picture, that one vanished very rapidly…

Just to show that we don’t just eat around here, we also planted a nice set of Bell Heathers that Beth found at the local Big Box store.  This was a variety, C.D. Eason, that I don’t recall seeing here before.  The test will be how they last through summer and winter, but at the moment they look very nice on the garage bank.

Bell Heathers on the garage bank

Bell Heather 'C.D. Eason'