I can never get enough garlic (much to Ed’s dismay) and enjoy in it all forms. However my preference is when it takes on a mellower flavor, such as roasted garlic. I was first introduced to another mild alternative – garlic scapes – a few years ago at Growing Roots’ Farmers Market in Malvern, PA.
Garlic scapes are the above ground stalks that grow out of the bulbs of a hardneck garlic plant. Think of it as the green leaves on a flowering bulb like a tulip or daffodil. Typically the garlic scapes are harvested in late spring/early summer to ensure that the plant can channel its energy into producing a flavorful bulb. If left unharvested eventually the garlic scapes will flower. The garlic scapes have a mild taste more like chives but there’s no mistaking that hint of garlic, too. You can eat garlic scapes raw, but I prefer them cooked as the texture is softer. Use them as you would garlic or scallions in any dish.
I was excited when I saw both garlic scapes and freshly shelled green peas at the Old Homestead Farm stand (from Ronks, PA) at the farmers market recently. I added some fresh mint (from my garden) and grated cheese to round out this simple sauté. It made a great side dish to accompany grilled lamb chops. In my family, lamb and peas are a popular combination plus you can never go wrong adding mint to either lamb or peas.
Can’t find garlic scapes and want to make this dish? Chop up a bunch of chives and a few cloves of garlic and add at the same time as the peas.
The beautiful bowl in this picture was made by Peter Yamaoka. I purchased it on a recent trip to the George Nakashima Woodworker Studio in New Hope, PA. If you’re in the New Hope area, I highly recommend a visit.
|Peas and Garlic Scapes Sauté|| |
- 1 bunch of garlic scapes (about 6 to 8), chopped
- 2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups of fresh peas
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano (or other grated cheese)
- Splash of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar syrup (see Notes)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Chop garlic scapes as you would scallions/green onions discarding the last 2 to 3 inches (curly tips of the garlic scapes).
- In a sauté pan (or frying pan) heat oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic scapes and sauté until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add peas to pan with garlic scapes and sauté until cooked through about 5 minutes.
- Transfer garlic scapes and peas to a bowl. Toss with Pecorino Romano cheese. Then toss with a splash of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar syrup, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Serve immediately.
* Can't find garlic scapes and want to make this dish? Chop up a bunch of chives and a few cloves of garlic and add at the same time as the peas.