Well, maybe MOST of the time it is.
In prepping this post I realized it was likely the first time I posted a savoury dish that did not include meat. In fact, this post is not only MEAT free, its totally vegan! Times are a'changing around sityone45. Well, probably not really....
(between the dill and the scapes on the table, the house smelled magnificent) I was very excited to learn about garlic scapes this year and regret it took 30 (ahem, ish) years to experience them. What a fantastic find! I can't even recall right now how I came across them but it was definitely from one of the incredible foodie bloggers I follow. The hilarious (or maybe just ironic) part here is that I actually had them growing in my backyard and didn't even it know it.
(Little sixtyone45 was helping me and literally shoving spoons this size of pesto into his mouth. I love his palette) So garlic scapes are the curly, deep-green stalks or shoots that grow from garlic bulbs. They are a bit like asparagus in texture, but have a distinct garlicky taste that's a little milder than the bulbs. I think if a green bean, green onion and asparagus had a love child, they would make a garlic scape....And then I would adopt her.
There is a TON of things you can do with the beloved scape - grill it, boil it, pickle it, pulverize it. I chose the last two. Well, at first I was only going to pickle it. While I understood the entire stem to be edible, the majority of folks suggested removing the flower/bulb from the end and also snapping off the bottom tough part (like you would asparagus). So I did so and made several several jars of pickled garlic scapes. Very cool. Not so cool was the sink full of blossoms and stems (that were emitting a garlicly fragrance I would bottle if it were socially acceptable) that I was about toss in the compost.
(the pickled scapes are on the right, I'm gonna hold off posting the recipe until I make sure they are good. I'm a responsible preserver.) So given that pesto seemed to be the most popular use of these garlic superstems, I decided to pulverize the heck out of the leftover bulbs and stems and see what happened. With Little on a chair beside me pouring in ingredients and "pushing the buttons" we ended up with two delicious pestos - one pecan based and one walnut based. Who woulda thunk?
So there you have it. A totally vegan day. Pickled Garlic Scapes and Pesto two ways. The pickles have to hang out for a while but I was anxious to try the pestos so I did what you would obviously do with a vegan pesto....
....slather it on a turkey drumstick and put it on the grill.
Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto
- try it not only in pasta, but on a crustini w/ goat cheese or as we did, slather it on some poultry and grill it. It would also made a great marinade/rub.
1 Cup of Garlic Scapes (I used just the bulbs & stems but you could use the whole scape)
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of 3-6-9 Omega Oil
1 Handful of arugula (be generous)
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste
One step - throw it all in the the food processor and pulverize.
Note: I made two, one with pecans and the other with walnuts. I like freezing the pesto in an ice cube tray and just popping out a cube or two when needed. The flavour is strong, but if you like garlic, you will love it.