Garlic Scapes in February

garlic

Farmer Alex’s garlic scapes survived the winter. First, farmer Alex harvested the shoots on a farm by the seacoast, in Martha’s Vineyard. That was in July. Then, farmer Alex cut the curling, slender shoots into three inch pieces. Next, he packed them into ziplock baggies. Finally, they made their way into the freezer. He never imagined they would travel, by car and cooler over the course of 7 months, to New Jersey, and then to Martha’s Vineyard, where they would be defrosted the day before the Superbowl and made into delicious things.

Good thing Alex’s lady friend likes to cook. That’s me. First, I tossed the defrosted and still-pretty-bright scapes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Into the oven they went at 375 degrees, to roast and get some color. They tasted delicious. A little bit crunchy, like scape chips. Salty, and very mellow on the garlicky notes. (Scapes grow atop garlic plants early in the season, before the bulbs themselves are mature). But I wanted to make a dip (a pesto works better with young scapes never-been-frozen, because they are less fibrous and more easily pulsed in a food processor).

And so into my vita mix the crunchy, escape chips went, with some additional olive oil and lemon juice. I threw in some slivered, toasted almonds for a creamy feel, and fed the machine some water so it would spin and puree more thoroughly. It became creamy and lighter in color. Lastly, I added a bit of tangy, plain yogurt, and my dip was made.

A sauce to accompany our winter Vineyard dinner, of juicy swordfish on the grill, baked sweet potatoes, and grill-charred broccoli rage (I mean rabe), briefly marinated in blackberry ginger vinegar.

A winter meal, with a little bit of summer. Here comes the sun! Doo doo doo doo. 

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