Make that garlic scapes. Garlic snakes is what my kids used to call them whenever I brought them home from the market this time of year and dumped them on the butcher block. No surprise. These twisty, curly bright green spears that shoot straight up from the garlic bulb are sometimes referred to as "serpent garlic."
When you think of garlic, your mind goes to the squat bulb with papery skin. But this garlic starts out as green or spring garlic. Then it matures: the bulb and roots grow under the soil while a stem with leaves and a twisty "scape" shoot up above. This scape ( a botanical term that refers to a flower-bearing stem) is just as edible as the bulb.
For years, scapes were trimmed off and discarded in early summer so that all of the plant's energy went straight to the bulbs underground. But these days, scapes are harvested for their own culinary merits and have become quite trendy among gourmets and locavores trying to reduce any and all food waste.
Tender garlic scapes have a delicate garlic flavor, and their fragrance hints at green grass and garlic. Scapes are vegetable, an herb, and an aromatic which makes them very versatile. Although the entire scape is edible, the pod and tip above it can be chewy and fibrous and are best discarded. Use garlic scapes as you would scallions or shallots, or in any dish that could use a garlicky note.
You can use them as a base for pesto or hummus, toss them in scrambled eggs or a stir-fry.
This recipe for orzo with garlic scapes and shiitake is so appealing because we have such beautiful shiitakes at market right now. (Madura Farms is having another mushroom sale this week).
You can refrigerate scapes in a paper bag for about a month.
No doubt you will be grilling this Sunday for Father's Day so make sure you pick up some shrimp from Pura Vida, sausages, chops and spatch-cock chicken from Southtown Farms.
And, yes, you can grill scapes.
Also, Larchmont Charcuterie is back this week - so stock up on saucisson sec and beef bresaola in case you're headed for a Father's Day picnic.
The Peanut Principle - with their dizzying array of nut butters (hemp, almond etc.) will be joining us tomorrow and every first and third Saturday of the month. Clean Ridge Soap, City Saucery, MOMO Dressing, Hudson River Apiaries and the KNIFE SHARPENER are also here this week.
And, we are very happy to welcome back Alex's French Crepes, starting tomorrow.
Have errands to run after the market? Please remember to take advantage of our VEGGIE VALET service. Leave your fresh produce, fish and chicken in our market cooler and we'll watch your items for you so you can shop downtown before heading back to your car at the train station.
Also: we've brought back our handy market shopping carts. Please use them at your leisure and return them to the train station lot when you are done, for the next shopper to use. Thanks!
See you at the market...