Garlic Scape

garlic scape pesto

It is garlic scape season in the West Kootenay and at Kootenay Spice we couldn’t be happier! Not only is it the sole time of year to get the fresh & tasty treat, but it also means that the garlic bulbs will be ready for harvest in just a few more weeks!

Garlic Scape

Garlic scapes are the flower stalks that grow up the centre of the plant. They are a sweet and spicy garlic delicacy! Once they have curled or corkscrewed into a full circle, it is time to cut them off. Cut the scapes just above the last set of leaves of the plant.

cutting garlic scapes

We are lucky to have about 50 garlic plants growing in our gardens & clipped the scapes last week. We were also very excited to find large bundles of scapes from Grand Forks Farms at last week’s Trail Market for only $3/bag! Naturally, we couldn’t resist buying a couple of bags, resulting in a total of about 3 pounds of scapes (including our own)!

garlic scapes

Our absolute favourite thing to do with the garlic scapes is make pesto. We like to whip up as much as we can and freeze it in ice cube trays for easy use. This year we have also set a handful of scapes aside to try a few new recipes like stir-fry and wrapping them in bacon. We are very excited to try the new dishes and will be sure to share the recipes with you!

If you grow your own garlic or can find scapes at your local vendor’s market, you will definitely want to try this super-simple recipe! Don’t forget to pick up (or pick your own) fresh basil too!

(sorry, we forgot the pepper and basil in the pic)

(sorry, we forgot the pepper and basil in the pic)

For one batch of pesto (approx. 3 cups), you will need the following:

1 lb garlic scapes, cut into 2 – 4 inch pieces
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice (approx. ½ fresh lemon, squeezed)
Smoked rock salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste

(optional) 1 cup cashews

Roughly chop the garlic scapes into chunks. Put them in a food processor with the oil, parmesan, basil, lemon juice and (optional) cashews. Chop until they form a paste and add the salt and pepper. A single recipe should take about 8 – 10 minutes of processing.

pureed pesto

Once the pesto is processed, transfer the paste to a sealed bag.

garlic scape pesto in bag

Carefully clip a small piece of the corner of the bag and squeeze evenly into ice cube trays.

garlic scape pest into trays

Freeze for a couple of days and transfer the cubes to a sealed bag for better storage.

pesto in ice cube trays

Now you have delicious garlic scape pesto at the ready! Take cubes out of the freezer as you need them. Some of our favourite treats include pesto chicken, pasta or simply spread on crackers or melba toast! Enjoy!

pre cooked eggplant parmesan

eggplant parmesan

We love to try new things in the Kootenay Spice kitchen. This eggplant parmesan was our first attempt at cooking eggplant and we love it! Layered like lasagna, fresh mozzarella, homemade breadcrumbs and our signature marinara sauce make this recipe unique and delicious!

This meal will feed 2-4 people and requires the following:

eggplant parmesan ingredients

1 large eggplant
2 cups marinara sauce
mozzarella, sliced in ¼” slices
parmesan, grated
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ cup flour
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
oil for frying
fresh basil
fresh rosemary
pepper to taste

Preheat the vegetable oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

sliced eggplant

While the pan and oven are heating, peel your eggplant. The easiest way to do this is cut the ends off and peel with a potato peeler. Slice lengthwise into ½” slices.

eggplant parmesan ingredients

Dip the eggplant in flour, then the egg, then press firmly into the breadcrumbs to coat evenly. Set aside and continue with the rest of the eggplant.

breaded eggplant

Fry the eggplant in batches of 3-4, taking care not to overcrowd your pan. Fry about 2-3 minutes per side, until they are lightly browned.

marinara lined pan

Lightly coat the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish with some marinara sauce.

Place a single layer of eggplant in the pan. Cut them to fit if necessary. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese and add a layer of mozzarella slices. Pour about ½ of the marinara sauce over the cheeses.

parmesan mozzarellapre cooked eggplant parmesan

Add another layer of eggplant, cheeses and the rest of the sauce. Top with basil, rosemary and pepper, followed by a final layer of mozzarella.

cheesed pre cooked eggplant parmesan

Bake about 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is beginning to brown.

finished eggplant parmesan

And there you have it! Fairly simple and very delicious! Once you try it, you will completely understand why it is our favourite way to cook eggplant!