July 22, 2012
Every year it’s a struggle for a new scape pun – but it’s never a struggle for me to enjoy the lovely flower stalk from garlic plants. I’m not growing garlic this year, and I would have to dedicate a large portion of my yard to it if I were to try to satisfy my love of the scape.
My alternative is the Scape Lady at our local farmer’s market. She has a football field sized patch of these growing and I take full advantage. Here’s what I purchased yesterday:
Scapes are fantastic as they have the delicious flavour of garlic in a milder form. They make wonderful seasoning but I love scape soup ( a simple stock, onion, carrot, scape and maybe a touch of bacon then blend recipe) and scape pesto.
I also freeze scapes. I am hoping this year to take advantage of the vacuum sealing system that Steve picked up this winter, but seem to be having some technical difficulties with it. I’m in a stand-by pattern until Steve gets home and has a look. We have an agreement that electronics are not for me to play with. It’s a deal that works for both of us, and humanity as well.
So while I am waiting for Steve, I chopped all the scapes for freezing and made some pesto for dinner tonight. When I am in a contemplative mood, I like to chop quantities like this with my mezzaluna – a two handed curved knife. But when, like today, I’m trying to get 27 things done at once, I just bring out the food processor. Chop the scape roughly and chuck them into the processor in batches. It takes about 8 second to whiz them down to a good size.
TOP TIP: last year I chopped the scapes into about 3-4 inch lengths and froze. I then discovered that trying to chop frozen scapes was like trying to herd cats. With hamsters as your herding dog. Things just went everywhere. As I generally use the frozen scapes in soups and stews where they were chopped finely, that’s how they would be frozen this year. I also don’t blanche them before freezing. The Scape Lady informed me that she has tried it both ways and found no difference – nor have I. I’m all for eliminating steps where I can, so this is the only Blanche you’ll see around here.
Now to the pesto: My recipe is pretty improvisational. You toss a bunch of scapes into the food processor, add some good olive oil – start with at least 3 tablespoons. Chunk up some parmesan – say 4-5 pieces the size of dice, and process. Once it really gets mixing, you can adjust it to your taste. Like it cheesier? Toss more in. Like it a little more liquid? Add a bit more oil. I like to put in a bit of cracked pepper as well.
Once it’s done it should look a bit like this:
If you make enough, you can freeze this in ice cube trays and then pop into baggies, or just plop some straight into the baggie and freeze. I always have some tucked away in the freezer.
When you want to use it, just thaw quickly in the microwave and pop onto your cooked pasta, adding more oil or seasoning if you like. Oh and don’t forget to give your better half, or any random stranger, a big garlicky kiss from me.