This morning, one of my few to sleep in, I lay in bed paging through Julie & Julia, and was shocked by what I read:
"Wealthy Victorians served Strawberries Romanoff in December; now we demonstrate our superiority by serving our dewy organic berries only during the two-week period when they can be picked ripe of the vine from the botique farm down the road from our Hamptons bungalow. People speak of gleaming the green markets for the freshest this, the thinnest that, the greenest or firmest or softest whatever, as if what they're doing is a selfless act of consummate care and good taste, rather than the privileged activity of someone who doesn't have to work for a living."
Well excuse me, Ms.Powell, but I do work for a living. I work 60-plus hours a week growing those fresh, green, local, dewy treasures for you to enjoy during those supposed two weeks periods of the year.
And these two weeks we have scapes. Garlic scapes, the top of the garlic plant (the part we eat being a bulb and all) which curl beautifully and would eventually flower. Harvesting the scapes not only provides us with another delicious garlic flavor, but also encourages the plant to focus on a larger bulb, providing us with yet more in the long run. It also, as a woman told me at the farmers' market, gives her husband "another stinky reason to avoid [her]."
The scapes can be sauteed, grilled, pickled, and my favorite, blended into pesto:
recipe compliments of Dorie Greenspan, yields 1 Cup
10 Garlic Scapes, chopped
1/2 Cup finely grates Parmesan (not "shakey cheese" for the can, please)
1/3 Cup chopped Almonds, toasted
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
Sea Salt (if the parmesan wasn't salty enough for you)
Blend the scapes, cheese, almonds, and half of the olive oil in a food processor until combined.
Add more oil if you don't quite like the texture. Keep in mind that it separates a bit if you let it sit; but the extra oil I poured off was deliciously garlicy. Also cover the pesto to prevent oxidization.