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 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.
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)!
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!
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.
Once the pesto is processed, transfer the paste to a sealed bag.
Carefully clip a small piece of the corner of the bag and squeeze evenly into ice cube trays.
Freeze for a couple of days and transfer the cubes to a sealed bag for better storage.
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!