Wednesday, June 29, 2011

garlic scape season is really short...want a recipe for white bean & garlic scape dip?

what a treat to find a bunch of garlic scapes in my weekly CSA box.  are you familiar with scapes?  if not, go immediately to your farmer's market and ask for them.  they are a soon-to-flower stalk that grows at the top of the garlic plant from between the leaves.  these "flowers" have to be cut off to ensure the bulb receives the necessary energy required to grow into the garlic we know and love.  this process is sort of like pinching the flowers off herb plants to aid in their growth. i love the clean, organic look of scapes...they curl into very interesting shapes...and make lovely casual floral arrangements which i use for a day or two prior to turning into a delicious treat.

many people discard the garlic scapes when harvesting...if you grow garlic do not let this happen. they are an amazingly tasty vegetable that can be used wherever you use garlic, green onions or chives. they taste like a milder version of fresh garlic with a bit less bite while still retaining tons of flavor. they can be chopped up and added to stir-fry, frittata, pasta or sautéed and added as a topping for pizza or bruschetta. you will find many ways to use...
garlic scapes are in season for only 3-4 of the issues you deal with when trying to eat only local, in season, organic food...short harvest time frames. you have to be aware each week of what is ready ...and then snap up the items before the season is over. i ate scapes every day for a week....and wished i had bought more.

if you google garlic scapes, you will find loads of recipes for pesto.  trust me...pick one...any one.  then make it and serve with pasta or spread on toast/bruschetta.  garlic scape pesto is delicious but i did not think the world needed another instead of my pesto,  i decided to share a recipe for a dip made with scapes, white beans, extra virgin olive oil and seasonings.  easy, quick, delicious, healthy and great is that?

i made this dip a couple of weeks ago when some friends decided at the last minute to come for drinks...they called and said "we have wine...we know you will have we are coming over".  good friends can do that.  i had all the ingredients for the dip so i grilled some bread and drizzled with olive oil then added olives, preserved lemons, cheese and a crudités platter to the offering.   everyone was happy!    
white bean and garlic scape dip
6-8 garlic scapes, cut in large pieces
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper

add the scapes to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.  add the beans, lemon juice, half the olive oil and the red pepper flakes. pulse until chopped and mixed.  with machine running, slowly pour the remaining oil in through the tube, stopping when you reach your desired texture (i.e. stop when still a bit chunky if you like texture...or keep whirring away until very smooth...whatever you like).  add a pinch each of salt and pepper...taste and adjust seasonings as needed. place in a serving bowl and drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil.

serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, crackers and/or a crudités platter.  delicious spread on bruschetta.  try as a sandwich spread with roast beef or chicken.

what is your favorite "gone in a blink of an eye" fruit or vegetable?  asparagus? garlic scapes? fava beans?  something else?  please share with me in the comments section...and tell me your favorite way to prepare...


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style™ "
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