One of the main benefits of growing foods in your yard is that there come evenings when the garden says, “No, you cannot stay late at work, scrape the windows or clean the basement. Tonight is the harvest. Go into the garden, gather what you can, hie to the kitchen and create magic there. Drink some wine for ritual cleansing, too.” This evening I was forced to heed this call, and I came back with garlic scapes. And while I thought I had begun venturing into the landscape of scape last year at this time—oh no, I now know that I was missing out on the big score. This stuff is amazing. The flavor is mellow, rich and bright at the beginning, and then the garlic intensity starts zipping in—but only enough to wow you, not knock you over. You can steam them like green beans, roast them like asparagus or pulverize them into a pesto that makes you question the need for basil. Astounding stuff. Because I have pasta boiling and pesto waiting, and all these folks have done a better job illustrating than I could, please look to these sources for more information:

The Hungry Mouse

The Amateur Gourmet

The New York Times

Moscow Food Co-op

Pesto-ey P.S.: I think I harvested most of my scapes a little late this year and last. As seen in this post, I should have snipped them off a few days before. I got fixated on that white bulge, using it as a signal to tell me when to take action, and didn’t realize that the green, curly shoot is the star. But, in keeping with being a super-frugal freak, I did find last year that there’s good use for the little bulblets that most people throw out. You can keep them in the fridge for up to a year and toss them into just about anything for a little garlic kick. Even if the curls are getting a little chewy, though, the pesto cures all ills. When steaming, just steam the older bits a little longer. It’s all good, and it’s all delicious.

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